Julia Decker, a Penn Yan native and former All-State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) student-athlete at The College at Brockport, has been named the first-ever head women’s lacrosse coach at Plattsburgh State. Decker most recently served as the head coach at NCAA Division II Fort Lewis College the past three seasons.
“We are extremely fortunate to be welcoming a coach of Julia Decker’s caliber to Cardinal Country,” Plattsburgh State director of athletics Mike Howard said. “Her background as a player who enjoyed a high level of success both at the high school and collegiate levels in New York State combined with her incredibly accomplished coaching résumé at all levels make her an exceptional candidate to build our program from the ground up. I am deeply grateful to the search committee for all their work in bringing an extensive and impressive field of candidates to campus, which ultimately led to the appointment of one of the most sought-out coaches in the country.”
Fort Lewis experienced success with Decker at the helm of the program, as the Skyhawks qualified for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Tournament in each of her three years there. Her teams at Fort Lewis achieved in the classroom, too, never earning below a 3.25 grade-point average.
Prior to her time at Fort Lewis, she served as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Fresno State for two seasons, where she primarily coached the offense. During Decker’s final season at Fresno State in 2014, she helped the Bulldogs defeat St. Mary’s (Calif.) College for the first time in program history, and she coached an All-MPSF attacker.
Decker helped build the foundation of the women’s lacrosse program at Hilbert College as its first-ever head coach, establishing a working club team from Aug. 2011-July 2012 in advance of the Hawks’ inaugural season in 2013.
Her first coaching job out of college came at SUNY Geneseo, where she worked as an assistant coach during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Decker enjoyed a distinguished women’s lacrosse career as a student-athlete at Brockport from 2006-09, earning All-SUNYAC honors in 2008 while helping the Golden Eagles advance to the SUNYAC Tournament final in both 2007 and 2008. As a result of her efforts in the SUNYAC Tournament in 2008, she was named to the All-Tournament Team.
During her tenure as a student-athlete at the Penn Yan Academy, she helped lead the Mustangs to the Class B New York State title in 2004. She led the team in points as a senior in 2004 and was named a Finger Lakes All-League attacker that season as well.
“I cannot express enough thanks and appreciation to the entire search committee, Mike Howard, and Bryan Hartman for choosing me to lead the Plattsburgh State women’s lacrosse program,” Decker said. “I feel incredibly fortunate to be chosen for this position, and I can’t wait to begin reaching out to future Cardinals and their coaches to share my vision and goals for our program. The athletic department at Plattsburgh State is comprised of highly-motivated, committed and caring individuals as seen through the success of the department the last several years. I look forward to being a part of that and working to grow, build and shape this program into a competitive force as soon as possible.”
Decker graduated cum laude from Brockport in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in physical education, and she earned her Master of Science in physical education-athletic administration from Brockport in 2012.
Plattsburgh State announced in April that women’s lacrosse would be added as the College’s 18th varsity sport offering. The Cardinals will begin varsity competition during the 2018-19 academic year and will compete in the SUNYAC as the conference’s 10th school to sponsor women’s lacrosse.