Kerri L. Whitaker ’96
Sports: Field Hockey/Lacrosse
Year Inducted: 2009
Kerri Whitaker ’96 was the rare athlete who was able to play two Division I sports at an extremely high level, excelling in both field hockey and lacrosse as well as in the classroom. During her four-year career, in which she lettered in both sports each season, she was recognized on both the Ivy League and national level, and received a bevy of awards throughout her time at Brown. She was also a team captain for each sport.
After two solid seasons to open her field hockey career, Whitaker truly broke out during the fall of her junior season, when she was named the Outstanding Offensive Player, an award that she would receive again as a senior. During her final season in the fall of 1995, Whitaker was also named the team’s Most Valuable Player, was a First Team All-Ivy and selected to the National Academic Squad, highlighting her excellence in both academics and athletics.
As impressive as her accomplishments in field hockey were, Whitaker was even better on the lacrosse field, as she became one of the top players in the country during her four seasons at Brown. She earned the first of her All-Ivy honors as a junior, appearing on the First Team in a feat that she would repeat as a senior. Following her final season, Whitaker was an Academic All-Ivy selection and was an All American selection.
In 1996, she enjoyed one of the finest seasons in school history, compiling 57 points, which was good for fourth best all-time. Her 46 goals and 11 assists were also good for 3rd and 11th all-time, respectively. For her career, Whitaker is in the top-10 at Brown in an astounding six categories: points, goals, assists, ground balls, caused turnovers, and draw controls, illustrating the versatility that made her stand out on the lacrosse field.
Whitaker graduated from Brown with a B.A. in English in May 1996. After graduation, she went on to play for the United States National Elite Lacrosse Team from 1996-2000, enjoying a solid career at the national level. During her offseason, Whitaker was an assistant coach at Syracuse from 1996-2001, where she helped former Brown assistant Lisa Miller build a new program from its inaugural season into a nationally ranked NCAA tournament team.
In 2001, Whitaker moved on to Columbia, where she accepted the head coaching position after one season as an assistant. Under her guidance, the Lions have seen their program reach new heights, including the first .500 season in school history in 2006. Her players have earned All-Ivy League recognition 15 times over six seasons and have been named Regional All-Americans a total of five times.