GRAND LAKE, Colo. – The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association released its national Coach of the Year awards on Monday morning and Salisbury University's Jim Nestor was named the Chesapeake Region and National Division III Coach of the Year.
The National Coach of the Year honor is Nestor's third. He was also named the Division's top coach in 2010, following Salisbury's first national title, and in 2005. This season marks Nestor's ninth as the Chesapeake Region Coach of the Year, including collecting the honor for the past seven years (2004-05, 2007-13).
Nestor led the Sea Gulls to a program-best 23 wins and a perfect season in 2013, taking the program to its second national championship.
Salisbury was rarely tested during the regular season, never trailing at halftime and winning all 16 regular-season games by no fewer than six goals. After rolling through the Capital Athletic Conference tournament and the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, the Sea Gulls ran into their first close game, never trailing, but battling to the final horn against Franklin & Marshall College in the NCAA quarterfinals, for an 8-6 win.
The Sea Gulls trailed in the national semifinal round, 5-3 at halftime, to Middlebury College. But a 3-0 run to start the second half gave Salisbury the lead and junior Shelby Nemecek scored the game winner with less than nine minutes to play. Junior goalkeeper Ashton Wheatley made a career-best 12 saves in the 8-7 win.
The next day, in the national championship game, Salisbury would breathe a bit easier, jumping out to a 4-0 lead against Trinity (Conn.) College in the first 12 minutes of the game. The Bantams would cut the edge to two, but would get no closer as Nestor and the Sea Gulls claimed their second national championship, 12-5.
Along with being named the National and Regional Coach of the Year, Nestor was selected by his CAC peers as the league's Coach of the Year for the ninth time in his 12 years as Salisbury's head coach.