Stonehill field hockey head coach departs after seven successful seasons
EASTON, Mass. (April 28, 2015) – Stonehill College has accepted the resignation of field hockey head coach Shelly Morris, who will be named the associate head coach of the field hockey program at NCAA Division I Northeastern University. The announcement was made today by Cindy MacDonald, Interim Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Stonehill, and confirmed by Pauline Dobrowski, Vice President for Student Affairs at the College.
"I, along with the entire Stonehill community, am truly grateful for Shelly's dedication and commitment she has provided to the field hockey program and her student-athletes over the last seven seasons," said MacDonald. "When we hired Shelly, we knew she had all the right elements to lead our field hockey program to new heights, and she did not disappoint. She brought a wealth of knowledge and passion for the game to Stonehill and has been at the helm of leading an NCAA national championship contending program each and every year, a program that has garnered the well-deserved respect of their opponents."
Morris, a 1994 graduate and former Northeast Region All-American at Northeastern, has guided the Stonehill field hockey program through one of the most successful periods in the program's history, including three trips to the semifinal round of the NCAA Division II Championships, the 2009 Northeast-10 Conference regular season championship and 2014 NE-10 Tournament title. Morris, who owns a career coaching record of 167-109 (.605), has led the Skyhawks to a 100-48 (.676) clip, four NCAA Tournament bids, with Northeast-10 Tournament appearances each season. Stonehill has reached the NE-10 finals four times, including each of the last two seasons, winning the NE-10 championship last fall with a 1-0 triumph over LIU Post which also marked her 100th win at the Skyhawks helm.
"I would like to thank President, Fr. John Denning, Pauline Dobrowski, Cindy MacDonald and former Assistant Vice President Paula Sullivan for all of the support they have given me and the field hockey program over the past seven years," said Morris. "I will forever cherish my time here at Stonehill. The student-athletes that I worked with, the success that this program has had and the friendships I have made, I will treasure. I have a great opportunity to go back and coach at my alma mater, but the players that have been a part of this program have instilled a winning tradition that any coach would dream to have, and that was very hard to leave. I have no doubt that the players on this team will continue that tradition in the fall and for years to come. Stonehill is a great community and this program has become a second family to me, and one I feel lucky to have been a part of."
Morris coached 19 All-Americans and 23 All-Northeast-10 Conference selections over her seven seasons at Stonehill. Senior Emily Sideris (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown) became the program's first three-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-American this past fall, while junior and two-time first team All-American Erika Kelly (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown) was named the NFHCA East Region Player of the Year this past fall as well. Morris produced a program-record four All-Americans in 2010 and Kelly led Division II with a program and Northeast-10 record 38 goals in 2013 and an NE-10 record matching 78 points. Her 1.81 goals per game is a new Division II record, while her 3.71 points per game also led the country and her point total shared the Division II lead. She finished just two goals shy of the NCAA Division II record of 40 by Jamie Vanartsdalen of Bloomsburg (Pa.) University in 2008.
Morris has seen three of her players collect Northeast-10 Defensive Player of the Year accolades and two named NE-10 Rookie of the Year. She has been recognized by her peers with Coach of the Year honors for both the NE-10 and North Region by the NFHCA in 2009.
Morris' student-athletes also perform in the classroom with four Capital One Academic All-District I at large picks, including 2014 Capital One Academic All-American Devin Ingersoll '14, who was also named the NE-10 Sport Excellence Award winner for field hockey in 2013 and was a finalist for NE-10 Woman of the Year in 2014. The Skyhawks also received the 2012 NE-10 Team Excellence Award for academic performance.
"I am thrilled that Shelly has the rare opportunity to return and coach at her alma mater alongside her former college head coach," said MacDonald. "I know she will relish in her new role and bring many of the right elements that brought her here to the current and future Huskies."
A search for Morris' replacement will begin immediately.
With 20 intercollegiate sports, Stonehill boasts one of the top athletic and academic programs in the country. In addition to finishing in the top three in the final NE-10 Presidents' Cup standings ten straight years, the Skyhawks have received the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award for Academic Achievement each of the first three years of the program's existence of honoring programs with an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90-percent or better. Stonehill has earned a 96% Academic Success Ranking (ASR) by the NCAA, which considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes, good for eighth among all NCAA Division II institutions, with 12 Skyhawk teams receiving a perfect rating of 100%. In addition, the Skyhawks are ranked third in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings for Division II used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs.