Dartmouth, Mass. -- Olivia Coakley, who has served as an assistant coach at Massachusetts Maritime for the last two years after a standout playing career at Merrimack College, has been named as the full-time Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Coakley’s appointment, which is effective immediately, was announced earlier today by Corsair Director of Athletics Amanda Van Voorhis.
A native of Bridgewater, Mass., Coakley assisted Head Coach Marc Palombo in all aspects of the Buccaneer program, as she helped Massachusetts Maritime set a school single-season record for victories in the program’s seventh varsity campaign this past spring. In addition to practice and game preparation, Olivia oversaw student-athlete recruitment and played a large role in the development of three Buccaneer all-conference players, including 2018 MASCAC Rookie of the Year Casey Sullivan.
“Olivia is a rising star in the profession, and I join everyone in our department in welcoming her to the UMass Dartmouth family,” Van Voorhis said of Coakley’s appointment. “She is so immersed in the game and is very passionate and enthusiastic about the sport of lacrosse. Her tireless recruiting efforts have benefitted her prior institutions greatly, and I know she will have that same impact in her new position.”
Prior to her role at Massachusetts Maritime, Coakley served for one season as an assistant coach at Mount Holyoke College, where she helped oversee all aspects of the Lyons’ program. A four-year starter on defense under the guidance of Head Coach Michael Daly at Merrimack, Olivia played in 63 career matches and amassed 94 ground balls (the ninth highest total in school history) while adding eight goals and a pair of assists on offense. Coakley, who served as a two-year captain for the Warriors, caused 34 turnovers and recorded 25 draw controls as well before earning her degree in Psychology from Merrimack in 2015.
Coakley, who has organized highly successful youth and high school clinics during her tenure at Massachusetts Maritime, has served for the past year as head coach of the Bay State Bullets youth program in Framingham, Mass. She has also been involved in youth programs in her hometown and was a standout player during her high school days at Bridgewater-Raynham under former Trojan mentor Cheri Rice.
“I’m very humbled, honored and excited for this amazing opportunity, and I want to thank Amanda Van Voorhis and everyone at UMass Dartmouth for the chance to lead this program,” Coakley said of her appointment. “Having played in each of the last two years, I’ve seen first-hand how talented this team is, and I look forward to continuing that tradition of success both on and off the field.”
Ironically, Coakley’s first match as a collegiate head coach will come at her old stomping grounds when UMass Dartmouth heads to Buzzards Bay, Mass. next March 2nd to battle Massachusetts Maritime.