Spirit of Tewaaraton

The Tewaaraton Foundation is pleased to announce the 2024 Tewaaraton Spirit honoree. The 16th Spirit of Tewaaraton recipient is former Princeton coach Chris Sailer.

The Spirit of Tewaaraton is presented to an individual who has contributed to the sport of lacrosse in a way that reflects the spirit of the values and mission of the Tewaaraton Award. The Tewaaraton Legends Award annually honors recipients who played college lacrosse prior to 2001, the first year in which the Tewaaraton Award was presented.

“The Spirit and Legends Awards are vital parts of our program: honoring the history and heritage of lacrosse is central to the mission of the Tewaaraton Foundation,” said Andy Phillips, President of the Tewaaraton Foundation. “Chris Sailer has meant so much to the game of lacrosse, and Bill Miller and Francesca DenHartog are truly legends of the sport, so we’re proud to be able to recognize these icons.”

Spending 36 seasons as Princeton’s head coach, Chris Sailer won three NCAA championships and 16 Ivy League titles, and led the Tigers to 11 national semifinals. She retired in 2022 as the fifth-winningest coach all-time in women’s lacrosse with 433 wins, and first all-time in wins by a head coach at one Division I program.

Under Sailer’s guidance, the Tigers played in 12 straight NCAA Tournaments from 1998-2009. When Princeton won back-to-back national titles in 2002 and 2003, it became just the second team in NCAA women’s lacrosse history to win consecutive NCAA championships.

In addition to earning three national coach of the year awards as well as the IWLCA’s Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial Award in 2008, Sailer was inducted into the USA Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2008 and the IWLCA Hall of Fame in 2022. In 2017, USA Lacrosse dedicated the Chris Sailer Trail at its headquarters. She has coached five Tewaaraton finalists, including 2003 Tewaaraton Trophy winner Rachael Becker.

“Chris Sailer is a championship human as much as she has been a championship competitor and leader on the field,” said Theresa Sherry, a two-time NCAA champion for Princeton and a Tewaaraton Award Finalist in 2004. “Her support throughout the journeys of hundreds of women during our time at Princeton has become impactful for an exponentially greater number of people because of what she empowered all of us to do out in the world. I am incredibly grateful for the positive force she was in my life, during my four years at Princeton and even more so for her support in the years since I last wore a black and orange jersey.”

Past Spirit of Tewaaraton recipients include Dick Edell, Diane Geppi-Aikens, Sid Jamieson, A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard, Roy Simmons Jr., Richie Moran, Bob Scott, Brendan Looney, Oren Lyons, Tina Sloan Green, George Boiardi, Welles Crowther, Feffie Barnhill, Bill Belichick and Alf Jacques.

The Spirit of Tewaaraton award will be presented at the Tewaaraton Award Ceremony on May 30, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

Previous Winners

2023 Alfred Jacques
2022 Bill Belichick
2019 Ethel “Feffie” Barnhill
2018 Welles Crowther
2017 George Boiardi
2016 Tina Sloan Green
2015 Chief Oren Lyons
2014 Brendan Looney
2013 Bob Scott
2012 Richie Moran
2010 Dick Edell
2009 Roy D. Simmons, Jr.
2005 Sid Jamieson
2003 Diane M. Geppi-Aikens
2003 A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard