Albany, NY—The Sage Colleges' department of athletics has announced that Gillian McDonald, Head Field Hockey Coach has resigned from her position to pursue other opportunities and has accepted a position at Williams College as an administrator in the athletic department, a position she will start on August 1. Sage will conduct a search to replace McDonald as head field hockey coach.
Gillian McDonald was selected as the first head coach of the Sage Colleges Field Hockey program in the summer of 2017. McDonald arrived at Sage having spent the previous 11 seasons as the head field hockey coach at Hamilton College.
The Sage field hockey program wrapped the inaugural season with a number of impressive accomplishments in 2018. The team posted a record of 4-13. For the season, Sage strung together a two-game win streak, while also finishing with four wins and went to overtime three times as well with opponents. On the year, Sage had two shutouts with 24 goals and 3.303 goals allowed average. Additionally, Sage was also honored by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association as the one of the 131 Division III field hockey programs honored as a recipient of the 2018 Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Academic Team Award. The Division III National Academic Team Award recognizes programs that earned a team grade-point average of 3.0 or higher during the fall semester of the 2018-19 school year.
Additionally, the 2018 Sage team had a pair of student-athletes recognized as Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III Scholars of Distinction. A member of the first Sage field hockey team, Sage's rookies Abigayle Greier (Elma, NY/Iroquois Central) and Charity Rushinski (Shushan, NY/Salem Central) were both honored as two of the 268 student-athletes recognized. Greier and Rushinski were also honored by the NFHCA as one of the 1,746 student-athletes from 147 Division III institutions earned recognition on the 2018 Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad. The Division III National Academic Squad program honors student-athletes who have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of 3.3 or higher through the first semester of the 2018-19 academic year.
McDonald, the winningest field hockey coach in Hamilton history, earned post-season recognition from the Liberty League in 2009 when Hamilton's staff shared the award for Coaching Staff of the Year. Four of her players have received a total of five all-American honors.
McDonald was a four-year starter in both field hockey and ice hockey at Bowdoin College. She was a first team All-American goalkeeper for field hockey as a senior and collected NFHCA All-Region honors three times. A four-time First-Team NESCAC All-Conference selection, McDonald helped lead the Polar Bears to the conference title in 2000. She is still ranked in the NCAA Division III top 30 in career shutouts, goals against average, and wins.
The Hudson, Quebec native received her bachelor's degree in 2004 and earned her master's from SUNY Cortland. McDonald holds Level II coaching accreditation through USA Field Hockey. She currently coaches in the USA Field Hockey Futures program and has also served as a selector for USA Field Hockey regional events.
Sage Director of Athletics, Sandy Augstein-Collins commented, "Sage Athletics thanks Gillian for her work with our young field hockey program." She added, "She has been a valuable team member and we wish her all the best in her next endeavor."