Maggie HerrNeckar returns to her high school alma mater, Brighton, as the new Girls Lacrosse Director of Coaching and Varsity Head Coach.
“We are extremely excited about hiring Maggie HerrNeckar to lead our lacrosse program,” said President of Brighton Girls Lacrosse Clint Robertson. “The search committee and I feel that she is the perfect candidate to provide our current and future lacrosse student-athletes the coaching, direction, and guidance they need to succeed. At Brighton, we expect greatness from our girls and Maggie will help us achieve our lofty goals.”
The Utah native brings a wealth of high school and youth coaching experience as she becomes the sixth coach at the helm of the girls program at Brighton. Her coaching career began in 2008 as the co-founder of the Brighton Girls Youth Program and for the past five years, HerrNeckar has been coaching with Utah Mamaci, a competition and travel team program, and at lacrosse camps and clinics such as Nike, Remedy, Repetition, Tribal West and Westminster.
HerrNeckar is a 2015 graduate of Westminster College with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. On Westminster Women’s Lacrosse team, she was a four year starting middie/center, three-year Captain and two-time collegiate All-American. Her stellar lacrosse playing career at Westminster culminated in team records for most career Caused Turnovers (CT), Ground Balls (GB), Free Position Goals (FPG), CTs Per Game, GBs Per Game, Draw Control (DC) Per Game, and she is 2nd overall in Points, Goals and DCs.
Prior to college, HerrNeckar was four-year starter, three-year Varsity Captain for the Bengals with noteworthy contributions as a player, including as a starter on the only Brighton State Championship (DII) team in 2009. “So far – only state title so far,” HerrNeckar added with a smile. She holds Brighton records in CTs, DCs, GBs, Goals, Assists and Points Per Game, is a multi-year All-State and All-American award recipient and the first player from Brighton to be on the U-17 National Team.
HerrNeckar is the only player from Utah to be invited to the quadrennial US Lacrosse’s Team USA Women’s U19 tryouts in 2010 where, she laughingly admitted, “I got schooled at USA tryouts and truth be told, also at the 2011 All American Showcase… yet, it also motivated me. I’m excited to be able to help other Utah athletes prepare for future opportunities like these.”
Perhaps her most significant contribution as a Bengal was coaching youth Thunder through Junior-age teams in both fall and spring seasons during her four years in high school, helping to develop the Brighton Youth program into one of the strongest in the state. Brighton Youth alumni are not just Bengals – they populate numerous other high school rosters as well. HerrNeckar said, “I fell in love with lacrosse as a 5th grader and wanted to give as many other young girls as I could the chance to learn the game. As far as sports go, I think the women’s game is unparalleled in elegance, intelligence, athleticism, speed, and teamwork – plus, it’s unbelievably fun.”
HerrNeckar credits Westminster College athletic and coaching staff and Head Coach, Niki Harding, for building her endurance, honing her skill sets and upping her lacrosse IQ. She also gives big props to Soni Bartlett, owner of Tribal West Lacrosse and Mamaci Program Director. “I learned from some of the best lacrosse minds in the state playing for and coaching Mamaci – truly priceless experiences,” said HerrNeckar, “Yes, I love playing lacrosse. But coaching lacrosse? That’s my passion.”
On the accepting the position at Brighton, HerrNeckar said, “Scott and Kendra took Brighton to the 2015 State Championship game which was easily one of the best women’s lacrosse games that I’ve ever seen. Losing in OT to Park City was tough… but to me that did not diminish the accomplishment and it’s an honor to follow in their footsteps.”
“It is with pride and humility that I accept the girl’s lacrosse head coaching position at Brighton and I deeply appreciate the support and confidence of the Brighton board and parents,” HerrNeckar said. “As Brighton coaches and players, we will recognize our responsibilities to represent Brighton and our community, on and off the field, with class, enthusiasm and excellence. We will honor the game, be team-centric and play with a style that highlights character, intelligence and skill.”
HerrNeckar said in closing, “I’m looking forward to mentoring, encouraging and supporting these hard-working and talented student-athletes… it is great to be Bengal again.”