During her eight seasons on the UMass Dartmouth sideline, Nicole Maher has compiled a 109-60 record (.645) with three Little East Conference regular-season championships, three Little East Conference tournament titles, and three NCAA Division III tournament appearances. She has led the Corsairs to sixth straight winning seasons, marking the longest sustained run of success in program history.
Last year, UMass Dartmouth sported an overall record of 14-7. Maher became just the second coach in program history to reach the 100-win milestone, achieving the feat at Wheaton College (Mass.) on Sept. 22, 2013. She led her charges to a three-way tie for second place in the conference standings with a 9-2 mark. The Corsairs defeated fifth-seeded Southern Maine in the quarterfinals of the Little East Conference tournament before being edged at top-seeded Keene State College.
In 2012, UMass Dartmouth tied the program’s single-season win record (17), matching the standard that was established by the 2006 squad. The Corsairs became the first team in program history to produce an undefeated 11-0 mark in conference play, winning the league title outright for second time in the past three years. UMass Dartmouth protected its home turf during the Little East Conference tournament, defeating Western Connecticut, Plymouth State, and Keene State to earn automatic qualification into the NCAA Division III tournament.
Maher has mentored a total of 38 All-Little East Conference selections, including 20 student-athletes on the first-team. She has coached three conference offensive players of the year (Eleanor Taylor, Stephanie Kinchla, and Robin Dziedzic), two defensive players of the year (Taryn Cardiel and Sara Joyce), and two rookies of the year (Cory Connolly and Eleanor Taylor). Maher has been tabbed by her peers as the Little East Conference Coach of the Year six times during her career, most recently in 2012.
A talented recruiter, Maher has tutored two All-Americans in Seana Golden (2008) and Robin Dziedzic (2006). She has produced a total of 11 National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-New England West selections, including 2013 recipients Tori Dolce and Devon Herlihy. Under her leadership, three student-athletes have represented the Corsairs at the prestigious NFHCA Division III Senior Game, most recently with Tori Dolce and Eleanor Taylor this past fall.
Maher’s charges have dedicated themselves to the fulfillment of the Division III philosophy. The Corsairs earned the NFHCA National Collegiate Academic Squad award in 2007 and 2010 for maintaining a 3.0 or higher grade point average. Individually, UMass Dartmouth has received a total of 32 Little East Conference Fall All-Academic citations since the inception of the conference-sponsored program in 2007.
Prior to joining the UMass Dartmouth staff, Maher served as an assistant coach at Bryant University for two seasons. She began her intercollegiate coaching career at Bridgewater State in 2001, leading the Bears to a 9-8 overall record.
A native of the South Coast, Maher was inducted into the Somerset (Mass.) High School Hall of Fame in 2006, her first year of eligibility. She was a four-year member of the University of Connecticut field hockey team between 1996 and 1999. Maher helped lead the Huskies to three consecutive Big East championships and back-to-back appearances in the NCAA National Semifinals. She holds the Big East records for most goals in a tournament game (3) and most goals in a tournament (5). At the time of her departure from Storrs, Maher ranked among the career leaders in goals (3rd, 48) and points (9th, 104). In 1999, Maher was named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I All-America, second-team, Big East Defensive Player of the Year, NFHCA All-Region, and All-Big East, first-team.