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.
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.”
Nicole Flores comes to Hanover after a season in Hartford, working as a member of the coaching staff at Trinity. In her one season, the Bantams reached the Division III national semifinals, falling one game short of the national championship.
The Branford, Connecticut, native’s time at Trinity followed a stint at Bowdoin College, where she worked from 2014 through 2016. During her time with the Polar Bears, she was part of a staff that helped lead the program to the 2015 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship Game as well as to the NCAA Division III Sweet-16.
Previous coaching experience also came from time at Union (2011-14) and Eastern Connecticut (2009-11) following the completion of her collegiate playing career at Springfield in 2009. While a student-athlete with the Pride, she was a first-team all-conference player and team captain as a senior.
“Nicole brings a ton of experience and perspective to our program. She has worked under great coaches and mentors, and is known for her work ethic and teaching ability,” head coach Danielle Spencer said. “She will help us in all areas of the program, but is particularly strong on the defensive end of the ball.”
Dartmouth Peak Performance introduced Steven Spaulding in the newly created role of Assistant AD for Leadership in the summer of 2012. Spaulding is responsible for the development and oversight of a four-year leadership model for Dartmouth student-athletes.
Spaulding is a 1995 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. While in the Army, Spaulding served as an Airborne Ranger and also served in Iraq. "DP2’s new leadership curriculum will focus on development of future leadership imparting current leaders with the skills to make decisions under pressure, which is what great leaders do," said Spaulding.
"Dartmouth Peak Performance is committed to help our athletes become better leaders," stated Drew Galbraith, Senior Associate AD for Peak Performance. "Through both a didactic and experiential leadership curriculum, we hope to provide Dartmouth student-athletes with the necessary tools for success on and off the fields of play.”
Most recently Spaulding led the Dartmouth College Fellowship of Christian Athletes program, helping student athletes make healthy choices and promoting responsibility. "Steven really stood out in the pool of strong candidates because of his experience in outdoor leadership, his understanding of the challenges facing Dartmouth athletes, and the articulation of his vision for a four-year leadership plan,” said men's hockey head coach Bob Gaudet.