St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School Varsity Girls Lacrosse Head Coach Kathy Jenkins has reached a remarkable milestone—800 career wins. At the SSSAS Upper School on May 14, the team defeated Episcopal High School 14-7, for win number 800. She is currently the winningest coach in all of girl’s high school lacrosse with a current record of 800 wins, 63 losses, and 10 ties.
Kathy Jenkins has been a national leader in girls sports for more than 40 years. She joined the faculty at St. Agnes School in 1971 (the year before Title IX was passed) and co-founded the girl's lacrosse program with Alix Fellows
in 1976. Over the past 43 seasons, she has developed one of the most successful girl's lacrosse programs in the country. Her teams have won 31 conference tournament championships, 27 league titles, eight state titles, and have had eight undefeated seasons. She has sent hundreds of athletes on to play at the college level and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Potomac and Virginia chapters of US Lacrosse.
“I think our girls in lacrosse realize what they have to do to be successful. It’s all about being a team and working together. And it’s about having the same goals,” Jenkins says. “We have high expectations of them; we know at what level they’re able to perform. But they’re also fun to watch. I do it because they’re so much fun to be around.”
When she started the team at St. Agnes, Coach Jenkins had never played lacrosse herself but was an experienced basketball coach and player. During her first few years of teaching P.E., she was finishing her college degree at American University, and one of her classes required students to start a new sports program. She suggested lacrosse: “It’s such an exciting sport because it involves a little bit of a lot of sports. So it brought together everything that I love doing. And then seeing how much fun it was, it was something I just fell in love with.” Then-Athletic Director Gudrun Callahan supported the idea and asked the Fathers' Club to help get them some sticks. Alix Fellows volunteered to help coach, and Coach Jenkins' husband built them some goals out of wood and chicken wire that first season. They brought many basketball moves and strategies to girls lacrosse, which was considered very innovative and effective in the sport.
At the time, only a handful of schools in the area had girls lacrosse teams, and they played four to six games per season. But with her athletic experience, her passion, dedication, and the support of the school, she quickly developed a winning program that has encouraged young women for more than four decades. In addition to coaching varsity lacrosse, Coach Jenkins also teaches P.E. and coaches Middle School tennis and girls basketball at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes.
Coach Jenkins is recognized for her work with other schools and organizations to increase interest, participation, and support for girls lacrosse in the Virginia-Maryland-Washington, D.C. area, and nationally. She has served on numerous boards while coaching and mentoring athletes through clinics, camps, and awards programs. Coach Jenkins constantly seeks to develop her game by attending workshops, talking to college coaches, and watching as many matches as she can. “I feel like I can learn something new, every conference I go to, I learn new things. When I talk to other coaches, I learn new things,” she says. “I try to be open to suggestions, open to change.”
All of Coach Jenkins’ lacrosse wins have occurred while coaching for St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes. Certainly, she’s had opportunities to coach at the college level but says she has never wanted to leave the school she calls home. She enjoys working with students at the younger ages, helping them develop the foundations they will need to succeed in the rest of life. “Thanks for all my players who have enriched my life. I love every one of you and I wouldn't have 800 wins without your outstanding dedication to becoming the best player you could be.”
Among all of her accomplishments, the most important is her family. She and her husband, Henry, have four children who grew up at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes, watching her coach and often traveling with the team. They all played lacrosse in high school and college: Brooke '96 (University of Pennsylvania), Molly '00 (Dartmouth), Alec '06 (Trinity College), and Ande (Washington & Lee).
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Coach Jenkins has affected so many of our Saints on the field, in the gym, and in the classroom. Help us commemorate Coach Kathy Jenkins' 800th win as head coach of the St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School girls varsity lacrosse team, by sharing a story, memory or note of congratulations here.