In the recent wake of one of the most tumultuous, fruitless, and acerbic calendar years in recent memory for Arizona State athletics, the offseason is proving to be no salve for the athletic departments’ woes.
Tim McCormack, the man who elevated Sun Devil Women’s Lacrosse to unprecedented heights, announced his departure from the program to become the next head coach for the women’s lacrosse team at Johns Hopkins University.
The news is bittersweet for Arizona State. There is no question this a vertical move for McCormack, and that should be celebrated for someone who created the blueprint and laid the groundwork for a program on the rise. There is also no doubt this will sting the upward trajectory the team had been rocketing on for the last few years.
McCormack’s stoic, gentile nature and ability to delegate gave him a deft nature in relating to his players. He oversaw the development of Carley Adams and Emily Glagolev, who were named to the All-Pac-12 First Team after the 2022 season.
After joining the joining the program in 2019 following a successful run to the Final Four in 2019 as an assistant coach at Northwestern, McCormack made his impact instantly within the Sun Devil women’s lacrosse program.
In just three seasons - including one shortened in 2020 due to the pandemic - McCormack took a fledgling program and turned it into a force in the Pac-12 conference. He was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year in each of the last two seasons, and in 2022 guided the Sun Devils to their highest ever finish in the Pac-12 (3rd) and the program’s first berth in the conference title game.
McCormack is young at just 33, and his coaching career appears to be just taking off. From his track record at Arizona State, he could very well become one of the preeminent coaches in collegiate lacrosse within the next few years.
But it won’t happen at Arizona State. The Sun Devils will have to continue their program development with a new leader. McCormack was a fantastic hire made by Ray Anderson. At the time, the Sun Devil women’s lacrosse program was in a nascent stage. This time around, the candidate pool will likely be larger, and perhaps more qualified.
It’s a hard pill to swallow for Arizona State athletics. In just this week alone, the athletics department has lost two recent Pac-12 Coaches of the Year. McCormack on Tuesday, and late last night, reports were confirmed that softball head coach Trisha Ford will depart for Texas A&M.
McCormack is moving on, but he has moved the needle for Sun Devil women’s lacrosse. Before his tenure, the program had a record of 12-24. After three seasons at the helm, McCormack compiled a record of 26-17.
There is no need to slice it two ways, McCormack’s departure hurts the program. But his guidance over the past three season has left it in a much better place than he found it, and that’s really all you can ask from a head coach.