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NJ Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (NJAIAW) held their 25th Annual New Jersey Woman of the Year Awards Luncheon honoring Jill Cosse


On Sunday, January 29, 2017, the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (NJAIAW) held their 25th Annual New Jersey Woman of the Year Awards Luncheon.  They celebrated the women and girls of New Jersey and the contributions they have made to sports. 

The program honored an outstanding female student-athlete from high schools, colleges and universities throughout New Jersey.  Our own Jordyn Theis, a West Essex senior, was honored for her significant contributions to her school and community through academic success, athletic accomplishments and community involvement.  Congratulations to Jordyn on a well deserved honor.  Jordyn is an award winning field hockey and lacrosse player. 

There was a female athlete chosen from each high school in New Jersey to receive this honor.  There was also only one coach to be a 2017 Honor Award Recipient from the entire state.  That honor wen to Jill Cosse-Minnella! 

Jill Cosse began her athletic career at Trenton State College (The College of NJ), where she played field hockey and lacrosse for Sharon Pfluger.  In her time at TSC, she won five National Championships, two in field hockey and three in lacrosse.  She played in eight consecutive Final Fours and captained both her teams in her senior year.  She was a Regional All-American in sports, and a three-time Final Four All-Tournament Team selection, once for field hockey and twice for lacrosse.  She was also named to the prestigious North/South Senior All-Star game for lacrosse.  She graduated Dean’s list from Trenton State College with a final record in both sports of 114-7-2. 

Jill began her coaching career after completing her Masters at the University of Connecticut in Exercise Physiology.  At 23 years old, she was named the inaugural head women’s lacrosse coach at Kean University where she coached field hockey and lacrosse for two years.  In 1997, she moved to West Essex, and took over the nationally ranked field hockey program, and began building her lacrosse team.  Her overall record at West Essex stands at 417-34-12 (20 seasons-field hockey) and 285-92-3 (19 seasons-lacrosse) for a combined record of 702-126-15.  Her field hockey teams have won 20 Conference Titles, 18 County Titles, 15 State Sectional Titles, nine Group 2 Titles, and on TOC title.  Her lacrosse teams have won six Conference Championships and five Group State Championships.  She has coached her teams in six TOC appearances for both sports.  Her teams have been ranked consistently in the top 10 for New Jersey and nationally and have been ranked twice in US Lacrosse magazine’s top #20 High School programs. 

This year her field hockey team finished #10 in Max Field Hockey’s final USA ranking.  She is most proud, that so many of her former athletes have gone on to do amazing things in both college and at the national level for both sports.  In field hockey, 76 athletes have gone on to play in college, 29 have captained their college teams, three were National Champions, and one is currently playing with the USA team.  In lacrosse, 42 have played in college, 23 have captained their college teams, nine have won National Championships, and one is currently on the USA National Team and plays in the women’s professional lacrosse league.

She was inducted into the Wall High School Hall of Fame in 2001, The College of NJ Hall of Fame in 2011, the NJSIAA Hall of Fame in 2012, and in 2015 was inducted into the NJ Hall of Fame for US Lacrosse. 

Our heartfelt congratulations to our Field Hockey & Girls’ Lacrosse Coach, Jill Cosse-Minnella.  Her combined record is 702-126-15 and her newest honor as recipient of the 2017 High School Honor Award!