Director of Athletics and Recreation Harry Sheehy has announced that Danielle Spencer has been hired as the head coach of the Dartmouth women’s lacrosse team.
With her hiring, Spencer becomes just the fourth head coach in the program’s 44-year history.
Spencer comes to Hanover after four seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Northwestern. Prior to joining the Wildcats’ staff in 2012, the Brighton, New York, native spent a season working on the sidelines at Stanford.
“Dartmouth is a world-class institution that excels in Division I athletics,” Spencer said. “I am honored and extremely excited to accept this position and lead the women’s lacrosse program.
“I would like to thank Athletics Director Harry Sheehy, Wendy Bordeau, and the entire athletic department at Dartmouth for making this incredible opportunity possible,” Spencer continued. “I would also like to thank President Morty Schapiro, Dr. Jim Phillips, Janna Blais and Kelly Amonte Hiller of Northwestern for their support and guidance. I am prepared for this opportunity because of the mentorship I received from Kelly as a player and coach at Northwestern. I look forward to meeting the current team as well as former players and getting to work!”
During her time in Evanston, Spencer helped Northwestern to four NCAA Tournament appearances and a pair of berths in the Final Four (2013, 2014). The Wildcats were also winners of the 2013 American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) Championship and finished in the top 10 of the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll in all four seasons.
As the recruiting coordinator, Spencer was responsible for continuing to bring top players into the program, including the group in 2014 that was ranked as the best recruiting class in the nation.
A four-year standout at Northwestern from 2006-10, Spencer was a part of three national championship teams (2007, 2008, 2009) and one national runner-up (2010) during her outstanding playing career.
As a player, Spencer was a two-time All-American, nabbing first-team honors as a senior in 2010 a year after claiming second-team recognition. As a senior, Spencer also earned All-America honors from WomensLax.comand WomensLacrosse.com in addition to a spot on the All-ALC First Team and ALC All-Tournament Team. A three-time All-ALC player, she earned first-team recognition as both a junior and senior, while being honored on the second team during her sophomore campaign.
Spencer finished her four seasons with the Wildcats having played in 83 games, making 65 starts. Her career totals rank among the best in Northwestern’s storied history as she finished with 193 goals (7th), 238 points (8th) and 203 draw controls (3rd). The 110 draw controls as a senior was the third-most by a collegiate player in NCAA history at the time.
Most recently, Spencer played with the Boston Storm of the United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX) during the first season for both the team and league. Spencer and her teammates finished as the league runner-up, falling in the championship game.
Spencer graduated from Northwestern in 2010 with a degree in social policy.
Mike Wilus joined the Dartmouth coaching staff in September 2016.
Wilus comes to Hanover from Boca Raton, Florida, where he was the associate head coach for the Lynn men’s lacrosse team. In his final season with the Fighting Knights, Wilus and the team earned a spot in the national rankings in six weekly releases, reaching as high as No. 17, while setting a program record for wins (9).
In three years at Lynn, Wilus was responsible for many of the team’s off-field duties, including allocation of budgeted funds, athletic scholarship allotment, equipment orders, planning of team travel and fundraising. Wilus was one of the first staff members to join the program for the inaugural season in 2014, helping build the foundation for the team’s jump to varsity status.
Before Lynn, Wilus spent two seasons at Gwynedd Mercy College (2012-2013), while he also worked toward a master’s degree in education at La Salle. A 2011 graduate of UMass Amherst, he was a four-year member of the Minutemen, helping reach the NCAA Tournament and earn an ECAC Championship in 2009 as well as make it to the final four of the CAA Tournament in 2010 and 2011. UMass also claimed the New England Championship in Wilus’ senior season as well.
“Mike comes from a family of coaches and his passion for the field is undeniable,” head coach Danielle Spencer said. “He helped start the program at Lynn from the ground up and bring that program into the national spotlight. His experience on the men’s side of the game will provide unique perspective on our staff and help us stay innovative ahead of the competition.”
Nicole Price joined the Dartmouth coaching staff in September 2016.
Price joins the Big Green staff after spending two seasons working at Fresno State in California. The team’s offensive coordinator, Price was responsible for the development of the attack and much of the in-game play calling.
In Fresno’s first six years as a program, the Bulldogs won just eight games total, while claiming nine victories in Price’s two years with the team. In that time, Fresno set nearly every one of the program’s offensive records, increasing scoring dramatically in both 2015 and 2016.
Prior to working with the Bulldogs, Price spent a year as an assistant on the San Diego State sideline (2014) and a season as a graduate assistant coach at her alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s (2013) in Maryland. She was a four-year letterwinner at The Mount where she helped her team to the Northeast Conference Championship as a senior in 2012 and was named to the 2011 all-tournament team as a junior.
“Nicole is an excellent teacher of the game and has made players better in every program she has touched,” head coach Danielle Spencer commented. “With her help, Fresno State had their best season in program history and set multiple single-season records. She brings great diversity to our recruiting with the time she has spent on the West Coast.”