Anne McCloskey, who led the Loyola Maryland women's lacrosse team to its first NCAA Division I tournament appearance and served as an athletics administrator with the Greyhounds for nearly two decades, died Saturday after an illness. She was 87.
McCloskey, a Baltimore resident and Maryvale Prep alumna, was the Greyhounds' women's lacrosse coach from 1977 to 1986, compiling a 103-43-4 record. During her time at Loyola, she also served as the women's basketball and field hockey coach, as well as an assistant athletic director. When she retired from coaching in 1986, McCloskey became Loyola's first director of recreation and revitalized the intramural, club sports and recreation programs, keeping that role until her retirement in December 1994.
McCloskey was at the helm of the women's lacrosse program when it transitioned to Division I, leading the Greyhounds to the NCAA first round in 1983. She then guided Loyola to a 14-4 record in 1984, the program's best record to that point, and another berth in the NCAA tournament.
In addition coaching, McCloskey had a lacrosse presence at the national level, serving as a president of the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Association from 1983 to 1985. She previously served on the AIAW lacrosse committee.
"Anne was my mentor, friend and one of the main reasons I stayed at Loyola," said Teddi Burns, Loyola's associate athletic director and senior woman administrator who also played lacrosse for McCloskey. "She took an interest in me as a freshman, taught me the game of lacrosse and gave me an opportunity to play a sport I learned to love."She was a tireless administrator who was passionate about providing equal opportunities for female athletes at Loyola; She truly was a pioneer, mentor and innovator in women's athletics. As a coach, she was known for her fundamentally sound and well-prepared teams. As she expanded and created multiple teams and opportunities for female athletes, she also pushed for increased funding and scholarships to stay competitive with other, often larger, institutions. I truly feel that because of Anne's foresight and persistence our female athletes today enjoy a greater parity because of the foundation she fought so hard to build."
McCloskey led the women's basketball program from 1976 to 1981 and the field hockey team from 1976 to 1978. Her 69 wins as the basketball coach rank third in school history.
"I was fortunate to play under the guidance of Anne McCloskey in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse; Coach McCloskey demanded our best, challenging us to continual improvement," said Mary Beth Akre, a 1988 Loyola graduate and Class of 2008 Loyola Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. "She was a compassionate and caring person, even as she made us run. Her winning records show strong leadership as well as an understanding of how to get the very best out of her players. She led by example, showing all of her players how to be better athletes and people.
"She was the driving force behind the rise and growth of women's athletics at Loyola. I will never forget her kindness towards me. She exemplifies what it means to be a woman with and for others."
McCloskey was inducted to the Loyola Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. She had also been inducted into the Greater Baltimore Chapter of US Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Notre Dame of Maryland's Athletics Hall of Fame and Maryvale's Athletics Hall of Fame.
Before working at Loyola, McCloskey was the athletic director and chairwoman of the physical education department at Maryvale.
McCloskey was a graduate of College of Notre Dame of Maryland (now Notre Dame of Maryland University) where she earned a bachelor's degree. She graduated from former Mount St. Agnes High School in Baltimore. She later earned a master's in education administration from Loyola.
She is survived by daughter Patricia McCloskey and son E. Lawrence McCloskey. She was the wife of the late Edward L. McCloskey and a mother to the late Robert F. McCloskey.
A viewing will be held Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Ruck Funeral Home, 1050 York Road, Towson. The funeral mass will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, 200 Ware Avenue, Towson.