CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - If there is one positive from virtual interviews during quarantine, it’s getting to see coaches in their home environment, where you can learn a lot of interesting facts which would not come up during a typical postgame interview.
In the case of UVA women’s lacrosse coach Julie Myers, it’s finding out she’s been taking care of three goldfish for more than a decade, which were won by her children in a carnival game at the Dogwood Festival.
“They came from throwing the ping pong balls in the bowl," says Myers. "Everybody else, those fish died, but mine are, like, two pounds. They’re huge. I bet you don’t see that in other ACC coaches kitchens, big cuddly Dogwood fish.”
Julie Myers has been a big fish at UVA for a long time, but even she’s not allowed to use the fields right now.
“It’s weird," says Myers. "I’ve had to go back to get a couple things, here and there. Just driven through. Taken runs. It’s not really close to where I live, but I find myself over there, just to be near the athletic facilities, and to be on those roads.”
Myers is a former UVA player and assistant, and she’s been the Cavaliers’ head coach for 25 years.
Her team has never missed the NCAA Tournament.
Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional home of the Final Four and Championship match, and the loss of all the games hits hardest this week.
Myers says, “I think it’s been since 1992 that I was not on a lacrosse field, either playing with Virginia, or watching high school kids play. I don’t think even my staff was born, necessarily, by then, so it’s been a lot of years.”
After their season was wiped out due to COVID-19, spring sport athletes received an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA.
Senior Sammy Mueller is transferring to Northwestern, and the three-time All-American will play for the Wildcats.
“I’m happy for her," says Myers. "She gets to get a phenomenal Masters opportunity, which we wouldn’t have had here for her, but I’m sad we don’t get to coach her, and she doesn’t get to play on our fields. But I’m happy for her. She was able to make the best of a bad situation.”
Recruiting hasn’t been affected too much, with the Classes of 2020 and 2021 already lined up, but Myers is ready for the day when everyone can return to the field.
“I don’t think we’ll every take it for granted, ever again," says Myers. "I will never complain about having to get up early to drive to Baltimore, to watch kids play when it’s 100 degrees out. If I could do that tomorrow, I’d say, ‘Alright, I’m in.’”
Julie Myers has over 300 wins in her career, and she was the first person in women’s lacrosse to win a Division I National Championship as both a player and as a head coach.