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Danielle Ryder enters her fifth season as the head coach of the Bates College field hockey program in 2017 after assuming the position in June of 2013.
In 2016, Ryder led Bates to its first winning season since 1999. The Bobcats finished 9-7 on the year, their most wins since that same 1999 season.
2016 also marked the first time the Bobcats have qualified for the NESCAC Championships in back-to-back years and their four NESCAC victories were the most for the program since 2002 when they won five NESCAC games.
Since taking over the reins of the Bobcats’ program, Ryder has instilled a new culture of dedication in the team. In 2015, she led the Bobcats to the NESCAC Tournament for the first time since 2010. Bates also picked up its most victories in a single season since 2005. One of the Bobcats' biggest wins in 2015 was a 1-0 victory over previously undefeated and ninth ranked Babson.
In 2014, the team had two players named to the NFHCA Division III All-Region Team.
In 2013, Bates registered its best goals-against average since 2006 and demonstrated marked improvement over the second half of the season.
Prior to Bates, Ryder served as head coach at the University of New England for 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. Before 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,” Ryder said at her appointment. “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.”
When first hired by Bates, Ryder was cited by Director of Athletics Kevin McHugh and the search committee for her innovative coaching, as well as her drive, intensity and enthusiasm.
“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). In 2012 she led the Nor’easters to the semifinals of both the CCC and ECAC tournament semifinals.
A native of Sturbridge, 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 an 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 holds a level II coaching accreditation from USA Field Hockey. She is also director of Revolution Field Hockey Camps in Lake Forest, Ill., and Concord, Mass, as well as the Coaching Director of Coastal Field Hockey, a non profit field hockey club in Saco, Maine.
2017 is Fost's third year as a member of the Bates coaching staff. She graduated in 2011 with a BA of Science in Exercise Science from Salisbury University. She has two masters: Masters of Education in Athletic Administration from Goucher College '15 and a Master of Science in Applied Health Physiology from Salisbury '13.
Fost was a Graduate Assistant at Goucher for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. She also served as a USA Field Hockey Olympic Development Head Coach at the Severn School, in Severn MD in 2014. Fost coached for the Atlantic Storm Chasers, a field hockey club in MD. She is a certified Health Fitness Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine. She has her USA Field Hockey Level II Coaching Accreditation.
During her playing career, Fost was a member of the 2009 NCAA D-III National Champions, a four-year varsity letter winner, a captain in 2010, and an Academic All-American.
This is coach Linda MacDonald's third year as an assistant at Bates. Coach MacDonald recently returned to Maine from the west coast after spending 26 years with the Division I - University of Pacific field hockey program, the last 15 years as head coach. Coach MacDonald is a former US National Team member and graduate of Springfield College. Linda brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the turf.