Merrimack College’s athletic program has experienced several years of growth and success — especially among women’s sports – of which we are very proud. That growth and success has increased the profile of all of our teams, our athletic department, and, of course, Merrimack College.
Merrimack College is announcing its decision to re-envision the field hockey coach position as full-time, investing in the leadership of the program so as to work with all stakeholders: our student-athletes, their parents, our alumnae and our fans.
After a wildly successful nine-season run at the helm of the field hockey program, including four trips to the NCAA Tournament semifinals and one to the national championship game, head coach Anne Rounce was offered the full-time position, but has determined that while this is an admirable investment for the program, full-time coaching is not her preferred path at this time. Thus, Merrimack is announcing that Rounce is stepping down, and the college will open an immediate search for a full-time head coach.
“Serving my alma mater as head coach for a sport I love has been one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Rounce said. “I will miss the players and my colleagues.”
A 2007 Merrimack graduate, and two-time captain of the field hockey team, Rounce concludes her time on the Merrimack sideline as one of the sport’s most successful coaches. Her 108-68 career coaching record for the Navy and Gold has her ranked among the top Division II coaches in all-time coaching win percentage with at least five years of coaching experience.
Only the fourth head coach of field hockey in school history, Rounce turned what was once a struggling program into a powerhouse in the North Region and one of the country’s best. In nine years, she has recorded double-digit win seasons during five of those seasons and fewer than eight wins only once. She also led the team to six straight winning seasons and seven over the last eight years.
In 2015, Rounce and the Warriors put together one of the most successful seasons in program history, posting the second-most wins ever (16-6) while reaching the NCAA Championship for the first time in school history and first time for a Merrimack athletic team since 1994. Under Rounce’s direction, the team advanced to the NCAA Semifinals four times in the last six years, and 11 players have garnered All-America honors.
“Anne established a tradition of excellence in Merrimack field hockey,” said Merrimack Director of Athletics Jeremy Gibson. “Beyond the success her teams earned on the field, Anne has mentored countless young women who have succeeded in the classroom, in the community and in their careers since graduating from Merrimack. We are grateful to Anne for her leadership and we know we will have very big shoes to fill.”
Merrimack will open a national search in the coming weeks for a new head coach and will begin a review of field hockey in line with the new program vision.