Moorestown’s girls lacrosse team has been one of the best high school sports programs in the country over the last quarter century and, not surprisingly, is turning to an alum to take over for recently-retired Deanna Knobloch.
By RYAN LAWRENCE, The Sun
For the first time in nearly three decades, Moorestown High School spent the fall searching for a new coach for its formidable girls lacrosse program.
It’s hardly surprising they didn’t have to look beyond the walls of the school.
Colleen Hancox was approved as the Quakers new coach a week before Christmas, replacing Deanna Knobloch, who retired in early October.
Hancox, formerly Colleen Dalon, is a 2002 Moorestown High graduate who went on to play at the College of William and Mary before embarking on a coaching career that took her to England, Scotland, two World Cups, and more recently, stints as the head coach at West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, a volunteer assistant at Delran High School, and as the director for girls training for the South Jersey Select Lacrosse Club.
“Moorestown High School is excited about the hiring of Colleen Hancox as the new head girls lacrosse coach,” Moorestown High School athletic director Shawn Counard said in an emailed statement. “She brings a tremendous amount of coaching experience from both the international and high school levels. Being a former Moorestown lacrosse student-athlete, she understands the importance of creating a balanced relationship between academics and athletics while also setting high expectations for the lacrosse program.”
Finding someone who understands the culture of Moorestown lacrosse was clearly an important factor in the Quakers’ search. The legacy Knobloch left is one of the best in any sport in the state in the last quarter century.
Knobloch had a 580–46–4 record in 27 seasons as Moorestown’s coach, leading the Quakers to 16 state titles and 15 Tournament of Champions titles (including 10 straight from 2000 to 2009). Moorestown’s girls lacrosse program is the winningest lacrosse program in the country over the last 20 years, a period that included winning 228 straight games over in-state opponents from 2000 to 2010.
Having played for Knobloch, Hancox is well aware of the shoes she’s filling and also the challenge of keeping Moorestown lacrosse as a national power.
“I am a competitive person; the pressure of taking over such a successful program motivates me,” Hancox wrote in an email to The Sun. “As a proud Moorestown Girls Lacrosse alumna I will honor the past while blazing a new trail for the future.”
Hancox (or at least her maiden name, Colleen Dalon) is one of the more than three dozen names of former Quakers lacrosse All-Americans recognized on a poster inside the high school. She was an All-American as a senior at Moorestown in 2002.
Four years later, after graduating from William and Mary, Hancox taught and coached at St. Mary’s in Wantage, England, where she led the team to a National Small Schools Tournament title. From 2007 to 2014, Hancox coached at Guilford High School for Girls (Guilford, England) where she won four National Schools Lacrosse Tournament championships.
She also coached Scotland’s Senior Womens National team from 2008 to 2013, attending World Cups in 2009 (Prague) and 2013 (Canada). She returned to the United States in the summer of 2014 and currently resides in Moorestown with her husband, Brett, and daughters Esme and Winnie.
She calls her lacrosse career, a world tour of sorts, an “avenue of adventure” but is “honored” to come back home where it all began.
“It feels like a homecoming,” Hancox wrote. “Playing for Moorestown was the launch pad from which my coaching career started. It shaped my understanding of the impact a great coach can have on developing positive characteristics in young female athletes. I am honored to be the new head coach.”