LEWISTON, Maine -- Bates College Director of Athletics Kevin McHugh on Friday announced the appointment of Danielle Ryder as the sixth head coach of the Bobcat field hockey team.
Ryder has served as head coach at the University of New England for the past two years, compiling a 29-14 record, two postseason appearances and guiding the Nor'easters to the first Division III national ranking in program history. Prior to her stint at UNE, Ryder was an assistant coach at the University of Vermont, and at Bates' NESCAC rival Tufts University before that.
"Representing Bates, a community and college founded in the richest traditions of exploration and intellectual growth, is an honor," said Ryder. "Having begun my coaching career in the NESCAC, I feel it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be named the head coach at Bates, and I am truly grateful. I look forward to working with the student-athletes as together we build a winning program."
Ryder's selection culminates a competitive search process that began in February with the departure of 15-year head coach Wynn Hohlt. Ryder was cited by McHugh and the search committee for her innovative coaching, as well as her drive, intensity and enthusiasm. She will officially begin at Bates on June 1.
"We were fortunate to have an extremely competitive pool of candidates, with five terrific finalists, and Dani proved to be the best of that great group," said McHugh. "I am thrilled to have her join the Bates Athletics family, and look forward to the excellent coaching and leadership that Dani will bring to the field hockey program."
Ryder was named the 2011 Commonwealth Coast Conference Coach of the Year, after leading the Nor'easters to a program-record 18 wins against four losses. UNE began the year with 13 straight victories and appeared in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III poll for two weeks, including a No. 2 ranking in New England. The season came to a close with two overtime setbacks in the conference final (2-1 to Endicott) and an ECAC Championship semifinal (2-1 in 2OT to Mount Holyoke). Last season she led the Nor'easters to the semifinals of both the CCC and ECAC tournament semifinals.
A native of Gloucester, Mass., Ryder graduated from Stonehill College in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She played goalkeeper for the Division II Skyhawks, finishing her career as the team's all-time leader in shutouts and earning Northeast-10 all-conference and all-academic honors.
After graduation, Ryder became assistant coach at Tufts, while earning a master's degree in child development. At Tufts, she was credited with playing a significant role in the transformation and development of the Jumbos' defense, as Tufts compiled a 37-4 record with consecutive appearances at the NCAA Division III Final Four.
Ryder currently sits on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for the New England East Region. She is also director of Revolution Field Hockey Camps in Lake Forest, Ill., and Concord, Mass.
Editor's Note: Some information in this story is republished, courtesy of University of New England Sports Information.