September 17, 2021

Maddie Taghon: Coach for Justice

Maddie Taghon picked up her first lacrosse stick in middle school. Years later, a job as a physical education teacher abroad made her realize her dream of coaching.

Maddie Taghon, who was named UMW women’s lacrosse head coach in 2020, and her team worked with campus organizations on the annual Run for Justice 5K to raise funds for the James Farmer Multicultural Center.

Maddie Taghon, who was named UMW women’s lacrosse head coach in 2020, and her team worked with campus organizations on the annual Run for Justice 5K to raise funds for the James Farmer Multicultural Center.

“From the second I stepped onto the field, I knew this is what I wanted to do,” said Taghon, who has trained players at all levels, from preschoolers to professionals on Britain’s national team. “All of these opportunities prepared me to coach at the collegiate level.”

Now the University of Mary Washington’s women’s lacrosse head coach, Taghon imparts her own experience as an athlete – she played defense and midfield at Presbyterian College in South Carolina – on UMW lacrosse players.

“It’s amazing watching their confidence grow through such a fun sport,” said Taghon, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history and art history, and coached at Shenandoah University and England’s Ampleforth College. “I love the creativity and speed of the game.”

Off the field, Taghon and her players have parlayed their passion into social justice. Inspired by Black Lives Matter, UMW women’s lacrosse teamed up last year with the Black and Jewish student associations, Women of Color, Brothers of a New Direction and the campus NAACP chapter to organize an annual Run for Justice, which took place again this summer. The virtual 5K has raised more than $5,000 toward a grant program for the James Farmer Multicultural Center and gained momentum along the way.

“The young women on my team were eager to get involved in a way that would impact our campus and community,” she said. “We want UMW student-athletes to know that they can create the change they want to see in the world by using their platform and voices.”

 

Q: What brought you to Mary Washington?
A: I came here to work with former women’s lacrosse head coach Caitlin Moore, who is now UMW Athletics assistant director. I knew it was a great school and program, and I fell in love with the campus immediately.

Q: What do you like most about campus?
A: The trees and the architecture, from Campus Walk to Ball Circle to the Bell Tower.

Q: What’s most rewarding about your job?
A: Getting to work with our amazing student-athletes.

Taghon, who played defense and midfield at Presbyterian College in South Carolina, said she enjoys watching her players grow and become more confident on the field.

Taghon, who played defense and midfield at Presbyterian College in South Carolina, said she enjoys watching her players grow and become more confident on the field.

Q: Most challenging?
A: The crazy highs and lows of managing a collegiate sports team.

Q: What’s your favorite thing in your office?
A: My Lilly Pulitzer water bottle. It keeps me hydrated and brightens up my day.

Q: Outside of work, how have you kept busy during the pandemic?
A: Lots of Netflix! I also started teaching a fitness class at a local gym in downtown Fredericksburg.

Q: What might people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I’m a horror fan – books, television, movies – as long as it isn’t too gory.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: Find joy in everything you do.

Taghon Becomes Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach

Maddie Taghon

Maddie Taghon

Maddie Taghon has been promoted to the position of head women’s lacrosse coach at the University of Mary Washington, as announced by Director of Athletics Patrick Catullo. Taghon will assume her new role effective immediately.

“Maddie has been a perfect fit for our women’s lacrosse program and is a rising star in the coaching profession,” noted Catullo. “She is a proven teacher of the game and has demonstrated her commitment to providing a great student-athlete experience. We look forward to her placing her own stamp on the program and continuing the team’s hard-won tradition of excellence.”

“I am thankful and honored to be named head women’s lacrosse coach at the University of Mary Washington, and I would like to thank Dr. Juliette Landphair and Athletic Director Patrick Catullo for this amazing opportunity,” said Taghon. “I am so excited to inherit a program that has such a long-standing tradition of success, and above all I am very grateful to continue working with this incredible group of young women. I look forward to continuing to lead this program to success both on and off the field. Go Eagles!”

Taghon served for two seasons as assistant coach at UMW in 2019 and 2020. In her first season with the Eagles, she helped lead them to a 16-5 overall record and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and this spring, the team posted a 5-2 record and was ranked 14th in the nation in the final IWLCA national Division III poll.

Prior to UMW, Taghon worked for three years at Shenandoah University, helping lead the team from a 5-12 record in 2016 to 12-7 in 2018. She also coached the team to two semifinal ODAC tournament appearances and mentored the 2018 ODAC ROY and VA State ROY.

Taghon, a four-year member and three-year starter at Presbyterian (S.C.) College and team captain of the Blue Hose during her senior campaign, also worked for a year at Ampleforth College in England. In this role, she coordinated games, practices and travel itineraries for varsity, junior varsity, U15, U14 and elementary school teams at Ampleforth.

In addition, she taught lacrosse-based physical education lessons in both the elementary school as well as served as a teaching assistant in both the primary and senior schools.