Cal names Jennifer Wong new lacrosse head coach
New program manager has had success with Temple staff
BERKELEY- California Athletic Director Jim Knowlton announced Tuesday that Jennifer Wong has been hired as the Golden Bears’ lacrosse head coach.
Wong takes the reins at Cal after a long and successful coaching stint on the Temple staff, where she most recently served seven seasons as the Owls’ associate head coach from 2016-22. Wong spent 14 campaigns in total at Temple during two stays of 2008-09 and 2011-22.
“I’m honored and grateful to be Cal Lacrosse’s next head coach,” Wong said. “I would like to thank the sports director Jim Knowltonsenior assistant sports director Tom Lowry and the search committee for this wonderful opportunity. I look forward to joining the Cal Lacrosse family and working with the student-athletes and alumni of this world-class institution. The Cal Athletics department is committed to the lacrosse program and building a strong foundation for a bright future, and I’m excited to build on what Brooke Eubanks and its staff have established.
Wong began her time at Temple spending two seasons as a graduate assistant in 2008-09 and also served as head coach at Immaculata University in 2010 before returning to Temple. She spent five seasons (2011-15) as an assistant coach for the Owls before being promoted to associate head coach.
“We are thrilled to have Jennifer Wong join the Cal family,” Knowlton said. “Jennifer is an accomplished and highly respected lacrosse coach with a long history in a strong program, as well as an enthusiastic member of the sport’s national coaching communities. We are thrilled with all of the qualities she brings to Cal and we can’t wait to have her hit the ground running.”
Wong’s tenure with the Owls has had many highlights, including a national ranking as high as No. 18 in 2022 as well as seven winning seasons in his last eight campaigns and 10 overall. In 2021, Temple finished 13-6 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a first-round win over UMass.
Temple won the 2008 Atlantic 10 regular season title and reached the NCAA Tournament while the 2016 and 2017 teams had back-to-back 13-win campaigns. Temple’s coaching staff was honored as Big East Co-Coach of the Year in 2016 when the Owls reached the BIG EAST Tournament Finals.
Wong has coached 55 players from all conferences and 13 players from all regions at Temple, including a pair of All-Americans in Whitney Richards (2008) and Courtney Taylor (2021).
Temple was also strong in the classroom throughout Wong’s tenure. In each of her 14 seasons on the Temple coaching staff, the Owls were recognized as an IWLCA Academic Honor Team by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Association. In the fall of 2015, the lacrosse team’s 3.58 GPA was the highest of all 19 Temple programs and at the end of the 2015-16 school year, it had a 3.0 GPA. .51 who was also the best in school. Among the BIG EAST lacrosse teams, Temple was recognized in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years for having the highest GPA in the league, and at Temple’s annual Champions Celebration to wrap up the year 2014-15 school year, the lacrosse team won The Owl Trophy for having the highest GPA. The number of Owls to earn BIG EAST Academy Team honors each year was impressive with a record 30 achieving that status in 2015-16.
Throughout his time with the Owls, Wong worked with Temple head coach Bonnie Rosen, who is an American Lacrosse, Philadelphia Sports, Eastern Pennsylvania and Connecticut Lacrosse Hall of Famer. As of the end of 2022, Rosen was the 19th most earning coach in NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse history.
“With much appreciation, I would like to thank Temple head coach Bonnie Rosen for her mentorship, wisdom and guidance,” Wong said. “I will be forever grateful for the 14 years I spent working with her and the wonderful people at Temple.”
Prior to Temple, Wong served two seasons as an assistant coach at Rutgers in 2006 and 2007, with the latter team reaching No. 14 in the IWLCA national rankings.
Throughout her coaching career, Wong has been active in advancing minority female coaches and in 2022 she received the Community Builder Award from the Black Women in Sport Foundation. She has also served in several roles with the IWLCA since 2005, including her most recent roles during the past four seasons on the All-American Committee, as a speaker and mentor for the IWLCA’s mentorship programs. IWLCA – including IWLCA’s Students of Color Leadership Academy and Future Game Leaders. She was also a panelist for the IWLA Coaching Symposium in 2022.
A native of Greenwood Village, Colorado, Wong played collegiately as a goaltender at Connecticut (2001-05) and helped lead the 2005 team to an ECAC championship and 15th nationally. Wong received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UConn in 2005 before adding a master’s degree in education in sports and recreation administration from Temple in 2009. She is currently working on a doctorate in higher education at Temple.
Wong is the fifth head coach in California lacrosse history after Jill Malko (1999-2007), Therese Sherry (2008-11), miles of ginger (2012-14) and Brooke Eubanks (2015-22).