Women’s lacrosse hires Sarah Willard as assistant coach

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State women’s lacrosse head coach Missy Doherty announced that Sarah Willard has joined its staff as an assistant coach. Willard has served as the head coach at Elon for the past three seasons.

“I am so excited to welcome Sarah to our staff,” said Doherty. “She brings great knowledge and positive energy to the defensive coordinator position. We can’t wait for her to start working in Happy Valley.”

At Elon, Willard mainly works with the defensive and migratory units. She helped coach the Phoenix to a 9-8 record in 2024 and to the CAA Conference Championships. She coached the 2024 CAA Rookie of the Year in MJ Santa Barbara. The freshman broke the conference and program single-season record with 151 draw checks. Elon ranked No. 8 in national pull check percentage.

“I am thrilled to join Missy and the rest of the great team at Penn State,” said Willard. “The Nittany Lion community is truly exceptional, and I am excited to contribute my experience to its tradition of excellence.”

For the past four years, Willard has also worked at Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse as director of operations. Athletes Unlimited is the professional women’s lacrosse league in the US. Willard’s primary responsibilities include the league’s logistical needs on and off the field and serving as the league’s liaison with support staff.

Previously, Willard worked at Wagner and Butler, where she served as an assistant coach at each program for a season.

Willard played collegiately at Towson, where she was a four-year team member and team captain in 2019. She was part of a program that won the 2016 CAA Championship and played in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 NCAA Tournaments.

Willard graduated from Towson in 2019 with her Bachelor of Science in kinesiology. She is currently working on her Master of Business Administration at Wagner.