Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Career Record: 234-118 (.665)
Duke Record: 230-110 (.676)
The only head coach in Duke women’s lacrosse history, Kerstin Kimel has led the program from its inception in 1996, molding the Blue Devils into one of the nation’s elite teams.
In Kimel’s 18 seasons at the helm of Duke women’s lacrosse, she has guided the Blue Devils to six national semifinals, four ACC regular season titles, an ACC Tournament Championship and 16 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances - the third longest current streak in the nation.
A five-time ACC Coach of the Year, Kimel has coached 35 All-America selections, 49 all-region honorees and 42 All-ACC picks. In addition, six of her former players have competed on the U.S. National Team, representing the United States at the 2009 and 2013 World Cups. The Blue Devils have achieved equal success in the classroom during Kimel’s tenure, collecting 19 Academic All-America accolades since 1997.
Kimel registered her 200th career victory March 16, 2011 in a win over Virginia Tech to become one of just nine active Division I coaches with 200 or more wins.
Duke enjoyed another successful season under Kimel’s direction in 2013, compiling a 14-6 record to go along with the program’s ninth straight trip to the NCAA quarterfinals. The Blue Devils had two or more players earn All-America honors for the 15th consecutive year as defender Taylor Virden was selected to the first team and goalkeeper Kelsey Duryea picked up second team accolades. Duryea became the first netminder in program history to recieve the honor as a rookie, rounding out the season ranked among the top 10 players nationally in save percentage and saves per game. All-ACC selection Makenzie Hommel concluded her career at Duke with over 100 points and 90 goals, and was joined on the all-conference squad by Duryea, Virden, Kerrin Maurer and Taylor Trimble.
The Blue Devils recorded 14 or more wins three times from 2009 to 2012, advancing to the national quarterfinals on three occasions and the semifinals in 2011. Under Kimel’s watch, Duke produced 13 All-America selections during that time, while Emma Hamm (2011) and Carolyn Davis (2009) were named finalists for the Tewaaraton Trophy. Led by Davis and Caroline Cryer, the 2009 squad rewrote the program’s offensive record book, totaling team highs in goals scored (313), assists (150) and points (463).
From 2004 to 2008, Duke put together one of the most successful stretches in program history, advancing to four consecutive national semifinals from 2005 to 2008 and earning at least a share of four-straight ACC regular season titles from 2004 to 2007. During that span, the Blue Devils placed 21 players on both All-America and all-region lists, in addition to posting three Tewaaraton finalists. Kimel led Duke to a 13-8 overall record and the Blue Devils’ fourth-straight NCAA semifinal appearance in 2008, earning womenslax.com Coach of the Year honors for her efforts.
Led by Tewaaraton Trophy recipient and two-time ACC Player of the Year Katie Chrest, the 2005 and 2006 Duke squads combined for a 35-7 overall record, including a program-best 18 victories in 2006, a 7-2 mark in the ACC and two conference regular season titles. After seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments bids, the 2005 installment earned a trip to the national semifinals for the second time in program history to ignite Duke’s string of four straight appearances.
From 2000 to 2002, the Blue Devils advanced to three consecutive NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, and in 2001, made the program’s first ACC Championship game. However, success did not always come easy, as Duke’s 12th women’s varsity program began its inaugural season in 1996 with four-straight losses before earning the Devils’ first win -- a 10-6 victory over UMBC on March 18, 1996. The Blue Devils would finish the season at 3-12, marking the first and only year Duke women’s lacrosse has posted a losing record. Duke began its rapid ascension the following season, recording an 8-8 mark before breaking through in 1998 with the program’s first NCAA Tournament bid. The 1999 season took Duke to new heights as the Blue Devils achieved the program’s first trip to the NCAA semifinals.
Kimel's Early Years Prior to her arrival at Duke, Kimel was the head coach at Davidson College, leading the newly-created Wildcats program to a 4-8 record in 1994 as one of the nation’s youngest head coaches in her first and only season at Davidson.
Kimel was no stranger to NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse before her time at Davidson, having played at the University of Maryland from 1990-93. During her career, she led the Terrapins to four consecutive national semifinal appearances and the 1992 NCAA National Championship. The Havertown, Pa., native was a two-time All-America selection and the 1993 NCAA National Defensive Player of the Year, appearing in Sports Illustrated’s "Faces in the Crowd." Kimel graduated from Maryland in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications.
Prior to her collegiate career, Kimel was a standout at Haverford High School, earning first team All-Central League, All-Delaware County and USWLA All-America honors. Her numerous accomplishments have landed her in both the Haverford Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame - Delaware County.
Kimel has also been a prominent figure on the international level as a member of the U.S. Elite Team from 1992-96 and as an alternate for the U.S. national team that captured a gold medal at the 1993 World Cup.
In addition, Kimel served as chair of the IWLCA Growth Committee from 1999-2000 and as Chair of the NCAA South Region Selection Committee. From 1998-2002, she was on the selection committee for the U.S. Elite/Development squads, also working as an assistant coach for the U.S. Development squad from 2000-03. Kimel has also worked as Chair of the IWLCA/USL Division I All-America committee and completed a four-year term as a member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Committee in 2007. In 2006, she became co-chair of the IWLCA External Relations Committee and served on the Tewaaraton award selection committee in 2008. During the summer of 2008, Kimel was elected to the IWLCA Board of Directors and acts as a Division I representative.
Kimel’s family tree includes many outstanding athletes, beginning with her father, Mike Manning, who played basketball at West Chester University, and her mother, Sallie Manning, who was a member of the tennis and field hockey squads at West Chester. Both her brother, Mike, and husband, Jack, played baseball at Western Carolina before moving on to play for the Texas Rangers organization, while her sister, Lindsay, played lacrosse at James Madison University and served as an assistant coach for the 2003 and 2007 World Champion U.S. under-19 teams. Her extended family also includes three collegiate basketball players - uncles Ed (Villanova) and Chris Manning (Philadelphia College of Textile) and cousin Alicia Manning (Lafayette) - one collegiate swimmer - uncle John Manning (Villanova) - two baseball players - cousins Brian Manning (Villanova) and Pat Manning (Atlanta Braves minor league) - and one hockey standout - brother-in-law Matt Mulhern (Boston College).
Kimel and her husband Jack reside in Durham with their three children - daughters Frances "Caroline" and Claire and son Russell McKinley "Mac."