Departs after leading Stonehill volleyball through successful six year run
EASTON, Mass. (March 27, 2015) – Stonehill College has accepted the resignation of volleyball head coach Lauren Amundson, who has been named the next head coach of the volleyball program at NCAA Division I Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The announcement was made today by Cindy MacDonald, Interim Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Stonehill, and confirmed by Pauline Dobrowski, Vice President for Student Affairs at the College.
"I, along with the entire Stonehill community, am truly grateful for Lauren's dedication and commitment she has provided to the volleyball program and her student-athletes over the last six seasons," said MacDonald. "Lauren is a talented coach who has built our volleyball program into a contender in both the Northeast-10 and East Region, thriving with a competitive and driven focus of success because of her passion for the sport."
Amundson led Stonehill through its most successful run in program history over her six seasons at the helm. She posted a record of 110-68 (.618), becoming the winningest coach in program history, with a 61-27 (.693) mark in Northeast-10 play. The Skyhawks earned the first two NCAA Tournament bids in program history under her guidance, winning a share of its first Northeast-10 Conference regular season championship in 2014. Stonehill earned its first NCAA Tournament bid in 2011, with its second bid coming this past fall.
"It has been a true honor to lead the volleyball program here at Stonehill," said Amundson. "I am so grateful to have worked with all of the student-athletes, coaches, administrators and friends that make Stonehill a very special place. Stonehill does Division II athletics the right way and I can only hope to have made a small impact on those lives in the way they've changed mine."
Amundson led the Skyhawks to 110 wins, two NCAA Tournament bids and an NE-10 regular season championship over her six years. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)
Amundson produced the first two honorable mention All-Americans in program history when senior setter Emily Iverson (Elmhurst, Illinois/York) and junior outside hitter Delia Phillips (Saint James, New York/Smithtown East) earned the honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) following the 2014 season in which Stonehill posted its second 20-win season in program history – both of which have come under Amundson's leadership. She has coached five AVCA All-East Region selections (the first five in program history), as well as an honorable mention All-Region pick, 14 All-Northeast-10 selections and four NE-10 All-Rookie Team honorees. Iverson, the 2011 NE-10 Rookie of the Year, would cap her career as the first NE-10 Player of the Year in program history, while also collecting Setter of the Year honors.
Amundson's student-athletes have also performed in the classroom and become a vital part of the campus community at Stonehill over the last six years. The Skyhawks earned the AVCA Team Academic Award in 2011 and have produced six Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference honorees with over 60-percent of the team earning Athletic Director's Honor Roll status at the College for having a semester grade point average of 3.20 or higher.
Amundson started the "Ace's Girls" program at Stonehill in 2012, a free eight week program that has run every spring semester, which mentors, educates and empowers young girls in topics of both physical and mental well-being, while introducing them to fundamental volleyball skills. The volleyball team earned the inaugural "Cindy Mac" Team Spirit Award at the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year as voted on by their fellow student-athletes at the College for being the most dedicated and supportive fans of the 20 intercollegiate varsity programs. The team has also been active with "Be the Match," the James Wright 5K, National Girls & Women in Sports Day, the Special Olympics as well as Team IMPACT, welcoming seven-year-old Eva Fox (and her twin sister Grace) to the team this past fall.
Amundson coaches two honorable mention All-Americans, five All-Region and 14 All-Conference performers on the court and her teams have also routinely been leaders in the classroom and the community. (PHOTO BY Dave Hahn/CSI Photo)
Amundson has been recognized by her peers by earning Coach of the Year honors from the Northeast-10 in 2011 when she led Stonehill to a program record 27-7 mark overall, including a 14-1 clip in the Northeast-10. She has been named to the AVCA's "Thirty under 30" list in 2011 and 2012, which recognizes emerging coaching talent at all levels of volleyball.
"To leave a place that feels like home is difficult," said Amundson. "For the last six years Stonehill has not just been the place where I come to work, it has become a part of me. I can't begin to adequately express my gratitude to the institution that has defined the foundation of my professional life."
Amundson has been active as the Northeast-10's representative to the AVCA Division II Head Coaches Committee, the NCAA East Region Awards Committee and the Northeast-10 Volleyball Coaches Chair.
"I wish Lauren continued success as she embarks on this next chapter in her coaching career," said MacDonald. "Marist is very fortunate to have hired a coach of her caliber and I can say with complete confidence that her future team and young female student-athletes will thrive under her leadership."
A search for Amundson's replacement will begin immediately.
With 20 intercollegiate sports, Stonehill boasts one of the top athletic and academic programs in the country. In addition to finishing in the top three in the final NE-10 Presidents' Cup standings ten straight years, the Skyhawks have received the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award for Academic Achievement each of the first three years of the program's existence of honoring programs with an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90-percent or better. Stonehill has earned a 96% Academic Success Ranking (ASR) by the NCAA, which considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes, good for eighth among all NCAA Division II institutions, with 12 Skyhawk teams receiving a perfect rating of 100%. In addition, the Skyhawks are ranked third in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings for Division II used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs.