Jillian Byers, who was a finalist for the Honda Sports Award and the Tewaaraton Trophy as the top college women's lacrosse player in 2009, joined the Yale staff as an assistant coach in the summer of 2009. A four-time All-American, Byers graduated from Notre Dame in May of 2009 as the Fighting Irish's all-time leading scorer. An attacker, her 262 career goals place her fourth in NCAA history. In 2010 she finished third in the voting for Notre Dame's female athlete of the decade for the 2000s. In the summer of 2010 she was selected to the 2010-11 U.S. Women's National Team, part of a core group of 36 players training to represent the U.S. in the 2013 World Cup.
Byers scored a team-record 83 goals in 2009, finishing second in the country in goals and third in points (111). She also set the Notre Dame single-season draw control record with 55. In addition to being the school's all-time leading scorer she also leads in points (336, 10th in NCAA history), draw controls (154) and games played (76).
Byers was Notre Dame's captain and MVP in 2009, leading the Fighting Irish to a 16-5 record, a Big East Tournament Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance, the third NCAA appearance in Byers' four years. The team advanced to the Final Four in 2006, the first round in 2008 and the second round in 2009. Overall Notre Dame was 54-22 during her tenure.
Byers, who earned three second-team All-America honors and one first team honor in her career, was a unanimous first team All-Big East selection four times. She was named Big East co-attack player of the year her senior year, when she led the conference in goals (a record 31 in conference play) and was second in points (42). She is the Big East's all-time leading scorer with 78 career goals. Her 12 points in an Apr. 18 win over UConn in 2009 (seven goals, five assists) are a Big East single-game record.
Byers was selected to the U.S. Lacrosse Developmental Team in 2009. It was the second straight year she made the roster for that team, which is designed as a feeder program for the U.S. National Team.
A native of Northport, N.Y., Byers attended Northport High, where she played basketball, lacrosse and soccer. She led all three teams to Suffolk County League titles all four years, captaining the lacrosse and soccer teams. She also played club lacrosse for the Long Island Elite Club Program the Yellow Jackets.
Byers was a film, television and theatre major at Notre Dame, minoring in theology. She was a three-time Academic All-Star Team selection and was a Rosenthal Leadership Academy Leader of Distinction Award winner in her senior year. She also took part in the Read to a Child program as a mentor.