In hiring Adams, 28, the Terps' associate head coach the past two seasons, the Greyhounds lifted one of the game's top offensive minds from one of its in-state rivals.
"Loyola has always been known for defense and hustle," said Sheehan Stanwick Burch, an analyst for CBS College Sports Network. "What Jen will be able to do is open up their offense. Jen's a phenomenal player and is still playing the game, which will really help in terms of bringing new aspects in."
The Terps, who were second in Division I with 477 points this year, averaged nearly 15 goals per game, good for sixth in the nation.
It's precisely that sense of excitement and firepower that Loyola, which finished the year 6-10 under Kerri O'Day, who resigned after five years, is looking for.
"The best young coach in America is joining the Greyhounds family," Loyola athletic director Joe Boylan said in a statement issued by the school. "Jen combines an amazing talent as a student-athlete and a coach, and we are looking forward to her contributions to our program."
Adams was the inaugural winner of the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2001, and her 445 points and 178 assists in her four years at Maryland are NCAA records. She has been associated with the Terps' program for all but three years since 1997, and her departure might leave a sizable void in coach Cathy Reese's program.
"While we will miss her at Maryland, she is going to make a huge impact on the lives of the student-athletes at Loyola," Reese said in a statement. "I will miss her, but she is going to do great things."
Adams, who was traveling yesterday and could not be reached for comment, is expected to establish a pipeline for players from her native Australia, which has become a burgeoning power in women's lacrosse.
"Australia won the last World Cup [in 2005] and there's a ton of talent waiting to come here," said Stanwick Burch, who played at Georgetown. "It will be interesting to see if Loyola becomes a destination for Australian players."