Gillian McDonald was selected as the first head coach of the Sage Colleges Field Hockey program in the summer of 2017. McDonald arrives at Sage having spent the previous 11 seasons as the head field hockey coach at Hamilton College.
McDonald led the 2016 Hamilton team to a 12-5 record, with an impressive 7-3 record in the highly competitive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). The team advanced to the semifinals of the league’s tournament before falling to eventual conference and national champion, Middlebury College. She was rewarded for her efforts as she was named the 2016 NESCAC Field Hockey Coach of the Year. The 2016 team achieved the school's highest national ranking, rising to 11th in the NFHCA poll.
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.
The 2016 Hamilton College field hockey team was also honored with a selection to the NFHCA National All-Academic Team, marking the 11th straight year under her direction the Continentals were commended. The program recognizes those institutions that achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher during the first semester of the academic year.
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.