Friends and family of Susanne Schooley gathered Tuesday in New Jersey to celebrate the life of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame member who passed away in June at the age of 80. Schooley spent a lifetime immersed in lacrosse, initially as a successful collegiate player, and later as a decorated coach, official, and administrator.
Schooley was an active member of the U.S. Women’s Lacrosse Association from 1971-2001, where she served on many committees and was the organization’s vice president for nearly 10 years. She authored three of the USWLA’s manuals on coaching and umpiring lacrosse, and was frequently invited to teach the sport to players and coaches nationally and internationally. In 1996, at the request of the Japanese Lacrosse Association, she traveled to Japan to help develop the coaches and players for their World Cup team.
Schooley was an assistant coach for the U.S. national team from 1981-1987, and served as goalie coach for the 1986 U.S. Women’s World Cup team. She was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1998.
A native of Camden, N.J., Schooley played field hockey and lacrosse at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), graduating in 1967 and embarking on a long scholastic teaching and coaching career. After initially teaching at Bell Oaks Elementary School in Bellmawr, N.J., she moved to Cherry Hill East High School, where she served as a health and physical education teacher and coach from 1971-2002. Schooley amassed over 300 wins in 30 years as the lacrosse coach, and also coached state championship gymnastics teams and conference championship field hockey squads.
Schooley received many awards from the N.J. State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) during her career, and was inducted into numerous Halls of Fame, including the Rowan University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987, the NJSIAA Coaches Hall of Fame in 1993, the New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1997, and the Camden County Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
Schooley was the founder and president of both the West Jersey Lacrosse Association and the Women’s Lacrosse Club of South Jersey, and also served as a member of the USA Lacrosse Foundation Board from 1991-2001.
She once commented, “My life has been dedicated to teaching values of hard work, dedication, loyalty, friendship, love of God and country, the spirit of giving for the love of giving, and doing what you love to do, through sport.”
Schooley lived in southern New Jersey for most of her life until retiring to Hilton Head, S.C. in 2017.