For Bonnie Rosen, success is quantified on and off the field

Written by: Javon Edmonds

Photo by: Owen Boyle

PHILADELPHIA — At 8:06 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4, Bonnie Rosen took the podium at Rivers Casino for her induction speech as a member of the 2021 class of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

To begin her speech, Rosen listed the four themes of her career.

“One: team sports have been amazing to me,” Rosen began “Two: I’ve been provided with such incredible opportunities in my life. Three: people make all the difference. Four: paying it forward matters.” 

Rosen is entering her 15th season as the head coach of Temple women’s lacrosse team, which in today’s collegiate athletics landscape, is a rare feat.

“I mean, that’s me, I’m not somebody who thinks the grass is greener,” Rosen said. “[Temple] had everything I wanted it to be and I could build the program I wanted.”

Rosen, a member of Harriton High School’s 1988 graduating class, grew up in the Philadelphia area. When she got the offer to coach Temple, Rosen couldn’t turn it down. 

Rosen’s induction into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame marked  her sixth Hall of Fame for her contributions to women’s lacrosse as both a player and a coach. 

As a player, she was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 50th Anniversary Lacrosse Team, the 1998 All-American team, and was one of Inside Lacrosse Magazine‘s Top 50 All-Time Players. 

Rosen played field hockey and lacrosse at the University of Virginia from 1988 to1992.While at Virginia, she helped lead the Cavaliers to their first ever NCAA Division One Women’s Lacrosse championship in 1991.

During her time in Charlottesville, Rosen, a member of the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, began to realize she was more in the minority than she originally thought. 

“Growing up, I didn’t really think that much about being Jewish and having anything uniquely special,” Rosen said. “Playing field hockey and lacrosse at the University of Virginia, I quickly realized that being a Jewish female actually was quite the minority.”

Rosen quickly began to realize how much her faith was a part of her identity, ultimately being inspired to coach the Israeli National Lacrosse team.

On the coaching side, Rosen has won while also playing. In 1997, she played on her first World Cup team while coaching at UCONN, a program she developed from scratch..

Rosen, who is no stranger to building programs, said she doesn’t believe “somewhere else is going to give me an opportunity to do it any better than we can do it at Temple.”

In 1997, UCONN named Rosen the head coach of its women’s lacrosse program, taking the team from the club level to the varsity level.

“You know, I basically took a team and elevated it, and recruited the next class that was already late in the recruiting process,” Rosen said. 

Recruiting has been a two-way street for Rosen from UCONN to Temple. While programs obviously want talented athletes, Rosen also wants great students and even better people.

“It’s a lot about growing. Not only as a player but as a person,” said senior defender Kerrina Heyn. “There’s a lot of emphasis on developing skills that can be used in your life outside of lacrosse.”

This formula has won Rosen Big East and Atlantic 10 conference titles. This spring, Rosen and her staff will try to add an American Athletic Conference championship to that list. 

“We go after being the best in everything we do, with winning as a top priority, ” Rosen said. 

To close out her speech Thursday night, Rosen made sure to thank that staff and made sure to leave everyone with a solid piece of advice.

“To my current team and to all those young girls and boys playing sports,” Rosen said,  “dream big and enjoy the journey.”

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