#retriever50for50 - Kathy Zerrlaut Posts Final Victory of Her 24-Year Dual-Sport Coaching Tenure

#retriever50for50 - Kathy Zerrlaut Posts Final Victory of Her 24-Year Dual-Sport Coaching Tenure

The date was April 24, 1996 and the site was one that Kathy Zerrlaut was intimately familiar with - the grass surface at UMBC Stadium. (Turf would not be installed until the fall of 1997.) The Retriever women's lacrosse team was en route to a 4-11 campaign, but on this evening - lights had been added to the stadium in 1992 - UMBC would outlast Bucknell, 6-4, in overtime as then-sophomore Heather Kormanik scored a season-best three goals.

There were only two more games left on the slate, and with no post-season hopes available - the Big South did not sponsor the sport at that time - the game seemed to have little significance. Except it was the last coaching victory for Kathy Zerrlaut after mentoring both the lacrosse (24 years) and volleyball (17 years) squads since 1973.

The triumph, Moment No. 43 on the countdown, was No. 152 on the lacrosse field and No. 424 overall.

In the fall of 1973, Kathy was hired by athletic director Dick Watts to upgrade the fledgling volleyball and women's lacrosse squads at the university. The Baltimore native and Lansdowne High School graduate had just earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Frostburg State, after competing in lacrosse, basketball and field hockey for the Bobcats.

After a total rebuilding of the lacrosse program, the 1977 team posted an 11-1 record. Her 1984 team, won the ECAC Division II title, and the 1985 and 1986 squads were ranked No. 1 in the nation, earning their mentor USWLA Coach of the Year honors.

Kathy coached the volleyball team for 17 seasons, compiling a record of 272-281-3. She saw both programs into the Division I era, stepping down from volleyball in 1989.

In total, the UMBC Athletic Hall of Fame member (elected in 2006) coached 850 intercollegiate contests for the black and gold.

In 1981, Kathy participated in the first-ever NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship committee, setting the stage for her exemplary administrative tenure. Since the mid-1990's until her retirement in the spring of 2014, she has served as UMBC Athletics' Senior Women's Administrator and its NCAA compliance officer. Among her wide array of appointments, she was selected to serve on the prestigious NCAA Management Council and chaired the 2004 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championships committee.

At the time of her retirement, Kathy was one of just ten UMBC employees to complete 41 years of service to the university. And she touched the lives of thousands upon thousands of UMBC student-athletes, students, faculty and staff along the way.