For the last five seasons, Jenny Duckenfield has authored a renaissance on the lacrosse field at Agnes Irwin.
That run, however, has ended.
Duckenfield’s contract with the Owls was not renewed, the coach being recently notified of that. It ends a five-year run in which Duckenfield tallied a 98-23 record.
Duckenfield said via email that she was not informed of the reason for her non-renewal, nor were parents and athletes. Duckenfield was out of town coaching this week and not available to comment further.
When asked for comment, Agnes Irwin’s new athletic director Courtney Lubbe emailed a prepared statement.
“We thank Coach Duckenfield for her contributions to the Agnes Irwin School’s lacrosse program and wish her the best in her future endeavors,” the statement read. “Our new athletic director will steward the search for a new head coach to lead our talented student-athletes and continue the strong tradition of Agnes Irwin’s lacrosse program.”
Whatever the reason, success wasn’t lacking in Duckenfield’s track record. A former standout at Interboro, the veteran coach continued her reputation for cultivating winning programs. She won nearly 100 games in five seasons, all at a school that went 2-16 and endured six straight losing campaigns before her arrival in 2013.
Duckenfield led Agnes Irwin to three Inter-Ac titles, two outright. She made the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association final on four occasions, twice winning the crown, including this year at the expense of archrival Episcopal Academy.
Duckenfield mentored 13 U.S. Lacrosse All-Americans, 15 Academic All-Americans and three representatives to the Under Armour All-American game.
Agnes Irwin has produced 13 girls lacrosse All-Delco picks, including 2015 Player of the Year Hannah Keating. As demonstrated by Keating, the 2014 Girls Soccer Player of the Year, Duckenfield’s development of the lacrosse program had a knock-on effect at a school known for multi-sport athletes. The last five years, Agnes Irwin has earned 37 All-Delcos across all sports, compared to just 14 total in the decades before.
Lubbe, who replaced long-time athletic director Sheila Pauley at year’s end, has a background in lacrosse. Formerly the acting AD at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City, Lubbe was a four-time Ivy League champion at the University of Pennsylvania who served as an assistant lacrosse coach at Columbia University early in her postgraduate career.