Cecil C. Pilson was named the women’s lacrosse head coach at Butler University on Dec. 16, 2015. Pilson is the first coach in program history as the Bulldogs will begin competition with the 2016-17 academic year.
Over the past 11 seasons as the head coach at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., Pilson posted an impressive 133-57 overall record for a .700 winning percentage. His teams have been ranked in the Top 15 in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) final poll in seven of the past eight seasons. Pilson has successfully recruited and coached 11 IWLCA All-Americans, 21 IWLCA All-Region selections, and 35 All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) honorees during that time.
Pilson’s coaching philosophy of “Athletic Success through Academic Achievement” has exemplified itself with 99 PSAC Scholar-Athletes (cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher), 43 IWLCA Academic Honor Roll Athletes (cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher), and Mercyhurst posting the highest team GPA in the PSAC in each of the past three seasons. In 2015, his team was recognized as the IWLCA Merit Squad for having the top team GPA of all NCAA Division II programs.
Pilson’s Mercyhurst team finished the 2015 campaign ranked tenth in the country in the final IWLCA Division II poll. The Lakers had a 15-4 overall record and advanced to the PSAC Championship game for the second straight year, and third time in the last four seasons. Mercyhurst's 2015 record marked the tenth consecutive winning season for the program.
Before taking over at Mercyhurst, Pilson spent several seasons assisting head coach Janet Grubbs at Longwood University, a then-Division II institution located in Farmville, Va.
As a member of the staff, the Lancers posted a 75-17-1 (.806) record and reached the NCAA Division II Final Four in 2002 before advancing to the National Championship game in 2003. In both of those seasons, the Lancers were ranked in the top-10 and had 10 players combine for 19 All-America awards and three IWLCA Player of the Year honors.
Outside of coaching, Pilson spent eight years with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and served overseas with the Regimental Combat Team I during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
He played one year of lacrosse at Western New England College before transferring to Longwood, where he earned a degree in physical education with a concentration in exercise science and a minor in coaching in the spring of 2004.
Pilson and his wife, Katie, have two sons, Fletcher and Roderick.