Women’s Lacrosse | July 5, 2022
TEMPE, Arizona — Sun Devil Athletics has hired Taryn VanThof as its new lacrosse head coach, vice president of University Athletics Ray Anderson announced on July 5th.
VanThof comes to Arizona after a highly successful six years as an assistant coach with the Florida national team. There she served as the offensive coordinator, goalie coach, draw specialist, and recruiting coordinator for the Gators.
“Thank you to the Vice President for University Sports Ray Anderson and Senior Associate AD/SWA Christina Wombacher for this opportunity to lead the Sun Devil Lacrosse program,” noted VanThof. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to teach at this extraordinary university.”
Under the guidance of VanThof and head coach Amanda O’Leary, Florida has grown into one of the nation’s premier programs over the past six years. In 2022, the Gators made their fifth straight NCAA tournament and each year received an offer for VanThof’s tenure. She arrives in Tempe after playing with Florida in the NCAA Quarterfinal Round (Elite Eight) back-to-back.
“Taryn VanThof is a great addition to the Sun Devil Family.” Vice President of College Sports Ray Anderson specified. “We identified her as the right person to lead this program on the march because of her energy, passion and desire to be in the state of Arizona.”
Before launching a burgeoning coaching career, VanThof was a standout All-American midfielder at Loyola Maryland from 2011-2015. She only competed at the professional level in the Athletes Unlimited League in the 2021 season.
“We couldn’t be more excited to appoint Taryn VanThof as Sun Devil Lacrosse Head Coach,” Senior Associate AD/SWA Christina Wombacher shouted. “She is a dynamic recruiter, tireless worker and amazing leader who is ready for this next step in her career.”
Arizona State enjoyed a record-breaking 2022 season in which they set new highs for overall wins (11) and conference wins (7) and won the Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament Championship for the first time. The potential of the budding program convinced VanThof of the position.
“Arizona State offers its student-athletes an exceptional experience,” added VanThof. “That’s what made this decision such an easy and delightful situation. The program is in a great position with an excellent foundation. I’m looking forward to being a sun devil!”
VanThof is taking over a program that has established itself on the national scene with several marquee wins over the past season. She will have plenty of talent to work with at Tempe, something she is very familiar with from her time in Gainesville.
While she was an assistant coach in Florida, the Gators went an incredible 85-24 (78%) from 2017-22. That stretch included five NCAA tournament appearances, six NCAA tournament wins, all five possible conference tournament titles, and two of the three Elite Eight appearances in program history.
“I’m grateful for my time in Florida,” said VanThof. “Especially the opportunity to be on the staff of Amanda O’Leary, from whom I have learned so much over the past six years. Thank you to them and the rest of the Gators Lacrosse Family for all the support.”
To say that VanThof has coached several talented players with Florida would be an understatement. A total of 18 Alligators were named All-Americans during the five counts (none in 2020 due to COVID-19). This group includes 13 Big East/AAC Forward of the Year, Midfielder of the Year and Goalie of the Year, all coached by VanThof. A staggering 39 players earned All-Conference honors over the same period, with VanThof helping to assemble one of the most talented rosters in the nation.
As offensive coordinator, goalkeeping coach, draws specialist and recruitment coordinator, VanThof has had an impact on all aspects of the program over the past six years. The Gators finished the season in all but one of the top-10, proving to be one of the most consistent and well-trained teams in the country.
She began her coaching career at Rutgers in 2016 and got a taste of Big Ten action immediately after completing her college career. During her only season in New Brunswick, she helped orchestrate a four-win improvement with two Scarlet Knights named to the Big Ten All-Conference Team.
Before becoming one of the nation’s most respected assistant coaches, VanThof was a standout midfielder at Loyola Maryland. A distinguished athlete in the Greyhounds, VanThof has been recognized by the IWLCA Third Team All-America in each of her last three seasons from 2013-2015.
The two-way star has 160 career points (108 goals and 52 assists) while also amassing 127 ground balls and a staggering 318 draw controls. VanThof is second to her sister Taylor in Loyola Maryland history in single-season (122) and career (318) draw controls.
A three-time All-Conference selection, VanThof helped Loyola advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2015. In her last season, VanThof had a career-best 53 points (30 goals/23 assists), including two wins. The Greyhounds reached at least the second round of the NCAA tournament in all four years of VanThof’s playing career and also reached a quarterfinal round during their 2012 redshirt season. She was coached by three-time IWLCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, Jen Adams, another major influence on her entry into the coaching profession.
She played professionally in the Athletes Unlimited League just last season and contributed seven goals and four assists while adding 17 draw controls, 10 turnovers caused and seven draw controls. It is not her first appearance in a professional league. VanThof was part of history when she was drafted to Long Island Sound (UWLX) and helped pave the way when the Sound captured the inaugural UWLX Championship Trophy in 2016. While at New England Command, she accomplished a similar feat, guiding them to the first and only WPLL Championship in 2018.
In 2017, she was selected to be a member of the US women’s national team, representing the United States in the Championship Challenge and several other international competitions. She had previously made the 38-player cutback and competed in exhibition matches in 2014 and 2015.
The signs of what VanThof should do for a career were seen early on as she devoted herself to the coaching front throughout college. While with the Greyhounds, the Livonia, NY native spent time as a coach and player-coach at Seven Lacrosse Training (Baltimore, Md.), Lady Roc Lacrosse Inc. (East Rochester, NY) and Maximum Exposure Lacrosse Company.
VanThof was selected by the Greyhounds coaching staff to represent the program at the Jeff Jansen Leadership Academy, where she honed her leadership skills through a variety of training sessions and activities.
For the past few summers since 2015, she has been a coach at the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, working with some of the most well-known women in sports. There she participated in public relations while teaching technical skills to aspiring youth lacrosse players.
VanThof received her master’s degree in sports management in Florida this summer. Prior to that, she graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and earned a dual specialization in management and marketing.
She arrives in Tempe with her fiancé, Travis, and their Great Dane, Myko.