Janine Tucker on the Today Show
Janine Tucker, a five-time IWLCA Regional Coach of the Year, is the all-time winningest coach at Johns Hopkins with a 271-144 (.653) record in 24 seasons, including a 203-128 (.611) mark at the Division I level. She took over the Blue Jay women's lacrosse program in August 1993 and successfully guided the program's transition from Division III to Division I without missing a beat. A 1989 graduate of Loyola (MD) and a member of the Greyhound Athletic Hall of Fame, Tucker has led the Blue Jays to double-digit win totals in 20 of her 24 seasons, six NCAA Division I Tournament appearances, three ECAC Division I championship games and four NCAA Division III Tournament appearances. Tucker reached yet another milestone in 2016 as she became the ninth coach in NCAA Division I history to reach 250 wins when JHU beat visiting Marquette, 11-8, on February 12. The win was also the 400th in program history.
The last five years rank as one of the most successful eras in Johns Hopkins women's lacrosse history as the Blue Jays won 61 games and made three NCAA Tournament appearances. Hopkins made its debut in the Big Ten in 2017 after playing two seasons as an independent. The Blue Jays went 11-7 and advanced to the Big Ten Semifinals, where they dropped a heart-breaking 19-16 decision to top-ranked and host Maryland.
In 2016, Hopkins earned a huge win in its regular season finale in April 2016, beating host and 16th-ranked Boston College, 12-9, to secure its third straight NCAA Tournament berth. JHU went on to beat 15th-ranked Virginia, 12-10, in the first round before falling to top-ranked Maryland in the Sweet 16.
The Blue Jays racked up eight wins over teams ranked in the top 15 in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, earning the Jays back-to-back NCAA Tournament bids. In 2015, Hopkins ranked seventh in the nation in save percentage (.481), eighth in scoring defense (7.44), 10th in win percentage (.778), tied for 13th in scoring margin (4.39) and 25th in caused turnovers (8.89). The 2014 season saw Hopkins set records for wins (15), goals scored (247), free position goals (45) and goals against average (7.26). The JHU defense led the ALC and ranked sixth in the nation in scoring defense (7.40), while also ranking 12th in the NCAA in scoring margin (4.95) and 25th in scoring offense (12.35).
In her 20th season at the helm, Tucker led JHU to a 10-7 record, an appearance in the ALC Quarterfinals and the Blue Jays were ranked as high as 12th by the IWLCA. Hopkins had an up-and-down season in 2012, culminating in an ALC Semifinal appearance. The Blue Jays finished the season with a 9-9 record, but with five wins over ranked teams and one of the toughest schedules in the nation, they just missed out on an NCAA Tournament berth. In 2011, Hopkins posted a 9-8 record with marquee wins over fourth-ranked Penn (8-5) and second-ranked Northwestern (12-11).
The Blue Jays followed a tough 2009 campaign with a 10-7 record in 2010, including a 3-2 mark in the ALC and the three seed in the conference tournament. The 2009 season was one of growing pains for Johns Hopkins as the Blue Jays fielded a team with just five seniors on the roster and just two of those five saw significant playing time. Hopkins went 5-12 on the season and lost in the first round of the ALC Tournament. The 2008 season saw a young Blue Jay squad go 8-9, with wins over 16th-ranked Oregon and 19th-ranked Denver. Hopkins earned the three seed in the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament, falling in the semifinals to ninth-ranked Vanderbilt.
The 2004 to 2007 seasons can contend with 2012-2016 as the most successful in program history, as the Blue Jays posted a 47-23 record against a lineup of nationally ranked teams and made three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. In 2007, Hopkins tied the then school Division I record with 12 wins, finishing with a 12-8 record, and advanced to the first ever ALC title game. Hopkins then made its third trip in four seasons to the NCAAs, advancing to the Elite 8 for the first time in school Division I history.
In 2006, Tucker guided Johns Hopkins to an 8-0 record to start the season as the Blue Jays climbed to #2 in the national polls. The team finished the season at 12-4 to tie the then school Division I record for wins. In 2005, Hopkins earned a 14-10 win at sixth-ranked Georgetown in its final regular-season game to finish the season at 11-6. The win helped the Blue Jays earn their second straight berth in the NCAA Tournament, where they met the defending national champion, Virginia, in the first round. Hopkins led Virginia until the final minutes, but the Cavaliers pulled out a 10-8 win and eventually finished as the NCAA runners-up.
A year earlier, the Blue Jays won a school Division I record 10 straight games to open the season and defeated four ranked teams, including sixth-ranked Notre Dame, the highest-ranked team ever defeated by Hopkins at the time. Indicative of the steady improvement of the Hopkins women's lacrosse program, the 2004 season was a step up from 2003, when Tucker guided the Blue Jays to an 11-5 record that included a 12-2 win over 14th-ranked North Carolina in the final home game of the season. The Blue Jays finished the year ranked 17th in the Brine/IWLCA Poll. Tuckerís 2002 squad finished 10-8 and advanced to the ECAC championship game for the third consecutive year.
The 2001 season was a benchmark as Tucker earned her 100th victory with a 13-9 win over 15th-ranked George Mason and two weeks later Hopkins won its first ECAC Championship as a Division I team, defeating Penn, 18-12, in the title game. The Blue Jays finished with an 11-6 record and a number 17 ranking in the final Brine/IWLCA Poll. A year earlier, Tucker led the 2000 Johns Hopkins team to its first Division I postseason appearance as it reached the ECAC final and concluded the season ranked 16th in the final IWLCA Poll with a 12-6 record. The 1999 Blue Jays posted a 10-4 mark in their inaugural Division I campaign, opening the season with four consecutive wins.
At the Division III level, Tucker guided the Blue Jays to the brink of the NCAA championship game four times. In Tucker's debut season, Johns Hopkins finished with its best record to date, posting a 16-1 mark and advancing to the 1994 NCAA Division III semifinals. Tucker led the Blue Jays back to the semifinals in 1995 and 1997 and to the quarterfinals in 1998. In five years of play in the Centennial Conference, Hopkins posted a striking 49-1 record, won four conference titles and finished undefeated in conference play in each of its four championship seasons.
Tucker has coached 27 IWLCA All-Americans, one IWLCA Defensive Player of the Year and one Attacker of the Year, two CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, four Centennial Conference Players of the Year, two ALC Rookies of the Year, 60 IWLCA All-Region selections and 84 all-conference selections. In addition, nine of her former players have been inducted into the Johns Hopkins Athletic Hall of Fame.
After a successful career as an All-American lacrosse player at Loyola, Tucker broke into the coaching ranks at her alma mater as an assistant. She helped coach the nationally-ranked Greyhounds for four seasons, and her success as an assistant for a prominent Division I power led her across town to Hopkins when the women's lacrosse position became available in 1993. She is the director of Tucker Lacrosse, which helps her promote womenís lacrosse through camps, clinics and speaking engagements across the country. Tucker co-wrote her first book with Maryalice Yakuchik entitled ´The Baffled Parents' Guide To Coaching Girlís Lacrosse" which was published in 2003. She has since published five more books: "Women's Lacrosse: A Guide for Advanced Players and Coaches" (2008, 2014), "Go to Drills: Developing the Complete Lacrosse Player" (2009), ´Building the Modern Midfielder" (2012), ´Building the Modern Attacker" (2013) and "Building the Modern Defender" (2015). Tucker is also a member of the Positive Coaching Alliance National Board of Advisors as well as the Collegiate Officials Association (COA) and the US Lacrosse Long-term Lacrosse Athlete Development Model Committee.
Tucker resides in Towson and has two sons, Ryan and Devin. Ryan was a four-year standout on the Virginia men's lacrosse team. He is currently teaching and coaching soccer and lacrosse at Norfolk Academy while playing for the Bayhawks. Devin, a 2016 graduate of Johns Hopkins, is attending the Carey School of Business pursuing a Global MBA.