Release courtesy of Gettysburg College Athletic Communications
GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Charlotte Cunningham has been named Gettysburg College's next head women's lacrosse coach, announced by Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Campus Recreation Mike Mattia on Tuesday.
Cunningham takes the reins as just the fourth head coach since the inception of the Bullets' women's lacrosse program in 1971. She spent the last four years as an assistant coach on Carole Cantele's staff. Cantele retired at season's end after 30 seasons at the helm.
"I am extremely excited to have Charlotte take over the helm of our women's lacrosse program," Mattia said. "When we hired her as our assistant coach four years ago, you could tell there was something special about her and it has shown through in everything she has done since then. She is a rising star in the lacrosse world, and I have no doubt in her ability to continue the incredible tradition that Carol Cantele established of competing for conference and national championship and deeply caring for every member of the team while also teaching vital life lessons that will help the women who come through the program have an incredible four-year experience at Gettysburg and go on to have great success in life."
Cunningham joined the Gettysburg staff in 2018 as an assistant coach and strength and conditioning coach after spending the 2017-18 season as a graduate assistant at East Stroudsburg.
"I'm incredibly grateful and excited to be named the next head women's lacrosse coach at Gettysburg College," Cunningham said. "I can't wait to get started with the amazing student-athletes, coaches, staff, administrators, families, and alumni to continue building upon the strong tradition of Gettysburg Lacrosse. Thank you to Mike Mattia and the search committee for sharing in my vision in leading this program and adding to the Gettysburg community."
In four seasons as an assistant, Cunningham has helped Gettysburg to a 47-8 record while coaching 15 All-America selections, 17 all-region selections, and 21 all-conference performers. In the two full seasons that she has been on the sidelines, the Bullets spent all but seven weeks as a top-five team in the country, including eight weeks as the No. 1 team in 2019. That squad finished 19-2 overall, claimed its 12th Centennial Conference (CC) title, and advanced to the NCAA regional championship all while setting team records for points (542) and assists (198).
This past season, the Bullets posted a 19-4 mark and claimed the program's 13th CC title before advancing to the national semifinals for the eighth time in the last 17 seasons. Cunningham helped coached the conference Attacker of the Year in Jordan Basso.
"I am absolutely ecstatic that Charlotte Cunningham has been named the next head coach of women's lacrosse for the Bullets! She has been a tireless worker for the past four years and has made a huge impact on the women in this program as well as myself," Cantele said. "It has been a joy and a privilege to share the sidelines with her and watch her develop into a strong, confident, and empowering leader. At the core of her coaching philosophy is the importance of teaching and mentoring. I personally have been so impressed with her commitment to the program and her calm yet intense competitive mindset. Our players believe in Charlotte, value her dedication and knowledge, and play hard for her! They work hard for her because they know how much she cares. She is the right fit and the transition for assistant to head will be seamless. I wish her nothing but the best as she takes over the Gettysburg women's lacrosse program."
In addition to leading the recruiting efforts, Cunningham has led the strength and conditioning program for the Gettysburg women's lacrosse program. She has also had a key role in designing the Bullets' offensive strategy while leading the draw control unit and training the goalies.
She has also served as a leader in both the Gettysburg Athletics Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and Student-Athlete Well-Being Program. She has also served as a coach within 3d Lacrosse, leading weekly trainings and speaking on panels to student-athletes on the collegiate recruiting process.
Cunningham joined the Bullets staff from East Stroudsburg University, where she served as the graduate assistant women's lacrosse coach for the 2018 season. During her time there, she helped the squad to its first regional championship and Division II NCAA national semifinal appearance after posting a 15-4 mark. Six players were voted all-region under her guidance.
As a student-athlete, Cunningham was a four-year member of the Division II Seton Hill University women's lacrosse team, where she earned second team all-conference as a senior. She tallied a career total of 37 goals and 86 assists.
Cunningham graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications and Advocacy Media Communications from Seton Hill in 2017 and earned her master's in Management and Leadership; Organizational Behavior in the summer of 2018 from East Stroudsburg.
She had success in the classroom as well at Seton Hill as a member of the honors program and graduating magna cum laude. She earned the Communications Leadership Award in 2017 and was the recipient of the Award for Undergraduate Research from the Pennsylvania Communication Association in 2016.
"I'd like to thank Carol Cantele for emulating excellence in leading this program and providing me the mentorship, trust, and support in preparing me for this position," Cunningham added. "Thanks to Barb Jordan, Xeni Barakos-Yoder, and the coaches who have guided me and believed in me. And thank you to my family – my greatest support system. I'm grateful for this opportunity and look forward to continuing with this outstanding group of student-athletes! Go Bullets!"
Cunningham officially takes over as head coach on July 1.