Field hockey head coach Ainslee Lamb will leave Yale March 1 to assume the head coaching position at Boston College, sources confirmed yesterday.
Boston College players were told that Lamb would be their new coach when they met her yesterday morning in Boston. Following a 9 a.m. team conditioning session at the Conte Forum, the main athletics building at Boston College, Lamb was introduced to the team by BC athletics director Gene DeFilippo.
BC team members said that DeFilippo introduced Lamb as the best fit for the job. Lamb then spoke to the team, telling the players her goals, what she hoped to offer and what she expected from them.
Several players at Boston College said they are looking forward to Lamb’s arrival.
“I’ve never met her personally, but I’ve heard great things about her,” goalkeeper Jillian Savoy said. “Lots of team members have played with her and experienced her coaching style. From what I gather from them she’s a wonderful addition to our program.”
The Eagles added that they think Lamb will give the team what they need to succeed this fall, when BC moves from the Big East Conference to the highly competitive Atlantic Coast Conference.
“I knew her before, and I think she’s a great person,” forward Alyssa Emrick said. “She’s well-rounded, and she’s good for the job. She’ll take us to the next level for the ACC.”
Lamb told the Yale field hockey team that she would be leaving in a meeting on Monday. A field hockey player said the team is happy that Lamb will have the opportunity to take over a strong program but is also upset to lose a good coach and mentor.
“It’s mixed feelings,” the field hockey player, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “Everyone’s wanted the best for her — she’s wanted the best for us. But we’re sad that she’s leaving. She’s a once-in-a-lifetime coach. You don’t really get coaches like her.”
At BC, Lamb replaces Sherren Granese, who retired in early January after an 18-year tenure with the Eagles. Under Granese, BC won three Big East Championships, in 1994, 1997 and 2003, captured the Big East regular-season championship in 1998 and made it to four NCAA tournaments. Granese was named Northeast Region coach of the year in 1994 and Big East coach of the year in 1998.
This season, BC went a program-record 17-6, with a 3-2 Big East mark. The Eagles finished the season ranked 13th in the nation and qualified for the NCAA tournament, where they lost 4-0 in the first round to No. 8 Michigan State.
The 2004 campaign marked the third straight year that BC recorded a 15-win season.
“Sherren had put in so much time to field hockey at BC,” Savoy said. “If she felt like it was time to do other things, the team has to support her. It’s just one of those things.”
Lamb has been at Yale for eight years, the first three as an assistant coach and the last five as head coach. In her five years at the helm, Lamb amassed a 41-47 overall record, with a 13-22 league mark. Lamb guided the team to back-to-back ECAC titles in 2002 and 2003. Until this past fall, Lamb’s Elis had performed better in each successive season, with its best campaign in 2003. In Lamb’s penultimate season, the Bulldogs notched a 12-6 record with a 5-2 league mark, good for a second-place tie with Harvard.
This season, the Elis went 7-10, with a 2-5 Ivy League record.