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Allison Kwolek - Lacrosse - Clemson University Athletics

Allison Kwolek

Position: Head Coach

Since being hired on August 2, 2021, Head Coach Allison Kwolek has established Clemson lacrosse as one of the nations premiere programs. She recruited her first two classes in three months time and then brought on board transfers from across the country to solidify her inagural roster. The 2027 class that Kwolek recruited was named the No. 4 overall class in the country. Unlike other first year programs, Clemson jumped right into playing games when its players arrived on campus in August of 2022. 

In her first season, Coach Kwolek led the Tigers to win four games in the ACC, upset No. 13 Duke, be ranked in the top 25 nationally for nine straight weeks, earn an automatic bid to the ACC quarterfinals and finish sixth in the ACC. She coached two players to earn ACC All-Freshmen Team, two players to the South’s All-Region Second Team, and one player to Honorable Mention for USA Lacrosse’s All-American Team.

That spring, not only did Kwolek have to navigate coaching a brand new team through their first season, but she also had to fight breast cancer. After upsetting No. 13 Duke, Kwolek announced her diagnosis to the public and began treatment. Coach Kwolek would only miss several games before returning to the sidelines. 

In year two at Clemson, Kwolek led the Tigers to an 11-7 record and another ACC Quarterfinals appearance. She coached a program record of four Tigers who were named to the NCAA South’s All-Region team and another program record of five Tigers who were named All-ACC.

Before Clemson, Kwolek has served as head coach at the University of Richmond since 2013, which includes a 64-16 (.800) winning percentage, a 27-5 conference record and two conference tournament and two league regular-season championships in the past five seasons. Richmond was nationally ranked in the top-10 each of the last two seasons and has qualified for the NCAA postseason in two of the last three tournaments, which doesn’t include the 2020 season in which the Spiders started 7-0 and defeated No. 6 UVa before the season was cut short due to COVID-19. The Spiders have enjoyed their most successful run in their program’s history under Kwolek’s leadership. When the William and Mary graduate took over the program in 2013, Richmond had accumulated just 10 winning seasons since their inaugural season in 1983. Kwolek racked up seven winning records in her nine seasons as the head coach.

Kwolek’s success was not limited to the regular season, although she did garner two A10 regular-season championships over the past five campaigns. The Spiders are 11-5 in postseason play under Kwolek, including a 3-0 run in the 2019 A10 Tournament, culminating in being crowned conference champions for a second-straight year. Kwolek has qualified for seven straight A10 Tournaments and has reached the championship game in six of those appearances. She has coached five Atlantic 10 Players of the Year, along with numerous all-conference selections. Two of her players have been named to the watch list for the Tewaaraton Award, a recognition earned by the best player in NCAA men’s and women’s lacrosse.

Prior to her time at Richmond, she served as an assistant at the College of William and Mary, Columbia University, and Dartmouth College. Formerly known as Allison Evans, Kwolek was an All-CAA midfielder at William & Mary and defender on the USA Team. She was inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Potomac Chapter in February 2015 and named to the William & Mary Athletics Hall of Fame in 2020.

Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich (Aug. 2021):

“Allison brings tremendous knowledge of the game, and proved to be a great fit as we looked to identify our first head coach. The response from the community has been overwhelming for Clemson women’s lacrosse, and we’ll lean on Allison’s expertise and vision to build this program the right way.