Jenny Levy tops a Sunday of three’s for the Tar Heels.
On a weekend the Carolina baseball team swept N.C. State in Raleigh for the first time ever and the women’s tennis team won its third straight ACC championship, Jenny Levy did it again. Her women’s lacrosse team also won the ACC tournament for the third consecutive year, adding to Levy’s incredible record.
If Dean Smith were still living, he would have to amend his sarcastic comment when asked about North Carolina being a basketball school. He said, “We’re a women’s soccer school.” A few years later he could have said, “We’re a field hockey school,” thanks to Karen Shelton’s championship run. Today Smith would most surely say, “We’re a women’s lacrosse school.”
Levy is definitely lacrosse’s version of Anson Dorrance. Both started their programs from scratch to build national power houses in Chapel Hill. After winning an NCAA championship as a player at Virginia in 1991, Levy was named head coach here at age 24 to start the program and will guide the Tar Heels to their 20th NCAA tournament, where her teams have reached nine Final Fours, including six in the last nine years, and won two NCAA titles.
Like Dorrance, she has won multiple national coach of the year awards, and in 2017 Levy was named head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team. She has had five members of her UNC squads play on World Cup teams. Does that sound familiar?
Levy’s 2018 second-seeded Tar Heels fell behind Boston College 2-0 in Sunday’s ACC championship game on Duke’s home field and then went on a 9-2 scoring run to break the Eagles’ 19-game winning streak. The 14-11 victory was led by six goals from freshman – freshman? – Jamie Ortega and goalie Taylor Moreno, who was voted MVP of the ACC tournament.
Like so many coaches at Carolina through the years, Levy has built her program around family values, and her players think of her as much more than a coach. She graduated from UVa with a degree in Rhetoric and Communication and, to hear her players talk about it, she clearly has long-term relationships to rival other Hall of Fame coaches who have walked this campus.
She would be the first to congratulate Mike Fox on his unprecedented three-game sweep over in Raleigh and women’s tennis coach Brian Kalbas on winning back-to-back-to-back ACC titles – just another way to say three in a row in women’s lacrosse, too.