Gillian D. Rattray
Hall of Fame|
Rattray helped Penn State win three straight national championships and compiled a career record of 143-19-3 in 12 seasons as head coach. Fifteen of her players were US Lacrosse All-Americans, 11 were named to Brine/IWLCA All-America teams and 12 were members of international touring teams. She chaired the committee that helped create a team tournament for college athletes under the auspices of the USWLA. She helped lift the national profile of women's college lacrosse by winning the first three USWLA College Division National Championships in 1978, 1979, 1980. The Nittany Lions posted a combined 45-1-3 record during those three straight championship seasons.
In 1981, the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) accepted women's lacrosse under its umbrella. She again helped focus attention on the sport by directing and hosting all three division championships in the first AIAW tournament at Penn State. With the demise of the AIAW, sponsorship became a part of the NCAA and Rattray's teams continued to enjoy national prominence with semifinal appearances in 1983 and 1985.
Rattray's teams were phenomenally successful during her career. She built a 20-game winning streak between 1978 and 1980 and qualified for six final fours. She coached 78 home games in Happy Valley and her teams were 69-8-1 in those games. She was twice featured in Sports Illustrated and gained recognition from the Guiness Book of World Records as the first coach to win two national championships in separate sports in the same year (women's lacrosse and field hockey in 1980).
She duplicated that feat with two hall of fame elections in 2005, also being inducted into the National Field Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame. Gillian Rattray died in December, 2017 in State College, Pa. at the age of 83.