Jill Batcheller, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Villanova University
Family Focus Media is proud to recognize Jill Batcheller with a Women of Influence award.
Jill Batcheller is a Main Line native who found her passion — and calling — in the game of lacrosse. She discovered the game while at Archbishop Carroll High School and went on to play four years of lacrosse at Syracuse University, becoming the eighth player in the school’s history to score 100 career points. After earning her MBA from Saint Joseph’s University, she took a risk to pursue her passion and landed an assistant coaching job at Brown University. From there, her career trajectory took her to Bryant University, Drexel, and finally back home as Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach, at Villanova University. She says it’s a position that her high school self “would completely be geeking out about!”
Athletics were a big part of Jill’s youth, but she really clicked with the game of lacrosse under the the guidance of Lorraine Beers, a fantastic coach at Archbishop Carroll. Those formative years of high school lacrosse were incredibly positive. She learned how to be a good teammate, how to learn from mistakes, and the joy and excitement in working as a team to accomplish a goal. She saw how the game improved her confidence and discipline, and enhanced the person she was becoming. Best of all, that hard work and commitment paid off when her team won their first Catholic League Championship.
“I am so grateful for this experience at such a young age and that is why I do what I do,” says Jill. “I hope to inspire the young women of today that if they pursue their dreams with their whole heart, that they too, can achieve anything they put their mind to!”
At age 26, Jill took a leap of faith — and a pay cut — to land her first job as head coach of a Division 1 women’s lacrosse team. Over the course of five seasons at Bryant University, she got married and started a family — and her team went from second-to-last place in the league, to winning five regular season championships and three tournaments!
“I found my way into the NCAA tournament for the first time as a coach — a head coach — and boy did that feel good,” says Jill. “Every step along the way, I was surprising myself, learning more about myself, and finding my purpose, not only as a coach, but also as a wife and mother.”
In her career, Jill has found a niche in helping unproven teams find success. She says that a team’s journey from last place to first is one of her favorite things to witness as a coach.
“The beginning always comes with uncertainty and a little bit of disbelief that they are really capable of what I am telling them we will achieve. But it sure is fun to witness them create confidence in themselves and see their hard work pay off.”