Amherst College

Amherst College Athletics
266 South Pleasant Street Amherst, MA 01002
Division 3 Massachusetts Northeast
Private Small Developing team


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Brooke Diamond O'Brien

Brooke Diamond O'Brien '03 has been named the head coach of the women's lacrosse program, Amherst College Director of Athletics Don Faulstick announced Monday, June 11th.

O'Brien returns to Amherst after spending the previous 15 years as the head coach of women's lacrosse at Washington & Lee University, where she compiled a 221-60 (.786 win percentage) mark and was named conference coach of the year nine times. She guided the Generals to a 19-3 mark in 2022, a conference championship and a spot in the NCAA Div. III Tournament quarterfinals.

"I am excited to welcome Brooke back to Amherst," Faulstick said. "She's had amazing success at Washington & Lee and I know she'll continue to build upon the proud Amherst women's lacrosse tradition she was a part of as a student. As a faculty member at Washington & Lee she fully understands the commitment to academic excellence, and I am thrilled she brings that experience with her as well."

A native of Longmeadow, Mass., and an alumnus of the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn., O'Brien graduated Magna Cum Laude from Amherst in 2003 with a bachelor of arts in psychology and law, jurisprudence and social thought. She earned a total of 12 letters as a member of the women's lacrosse, women's soccer and women's basketball teams and served as a captain for all three sports.

In lacrosse, she was a two-time First Team All-America selection and two-time Kelly Award winner as the Division III National Goaltender of the Year. She was named the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division III Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was selected the Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament's Most Outstanding Player in leading the then Lord Jeffs to the 2003 National Championship.

"I am honored and humbled to be named the next Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse at Amherst College," O'Brien said. "I want to thank Don Faulstick and the search committee for this tremendous opportunity. This is truly a dream come true – a chance to come home to the Pioneer Valley and to rejoin the talented, dynamic, and diverse Amherst community that means so much to me."

O'Brien succeeds Mammoth legend Christine Paradis, who retired as head coach at the end of the 2022 season after 28 years and 27 seasons. She finished with a career coaching record of 321-123 (.707), Her 321 wins are the 10th most by any women's lacrosse coach across all divisions of the NCAA and the 4th highest total at the Div. III level. Paradis guided Amherst to 14 NCAA Tournament berths, including 1 national championship win in 2003.

"I am forever grateful to Chris Paradis and Michelle Morgan for their mentorship and guidance over the past twenty-plus years," O'Brien said. "They have taught me so much about how to coach, lead, and develop strong women. I am eager to serve and mentor the next generation of Amherst students in this same way."

O'Brien's coaching career began at Amherst in 2005 as a graduate assistant women's lacrosse coach and she also coached at Smith College until 2007.

At Amherst, O'Brien assisted in all aspects of the program and helped lead the then Lord Jeffs to a No. 6 ranking and the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2006. At Smith, O'Brien coached the women's soccer team as an assistant and helped guide it to a 14-7-1 record and an ECAC New England Championship during the 2006 season.

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Anna Bissell

Anna Bissell joined the Amherst College women's lacrosse program as an assistant coach in January of 2023.

She most recently served as an assistant coach of women's lacrosse at Delaware State University, where she oversaw the Hornets' offense, draw takers and goalies. She joined the Hornets’ women’s lacrosse coaching staff in July 2021.

Prior to that role, Bissell served as an assistant coach at Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C., a member of the NCAA Division III USA South Atlantic Conference.

During her time at Methodist, Bissell worked with the offense along with the draw takers. She also served as head coach to AC Sandhills, an elite high school travel team during her time in Fayetteville.

Bissell graduated from NCAA Division II Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2019 with a degree in Exercise Science. At LR, she was a four-year lacrosse letter winner, helping lead the team to the 2018 South Atlantic Conference regular season championship. Bissell played in 59 games with 22 starts, playing as a midfielder for two years before finishing her career as an attacker.

Bissell belongs to a family heavily involved in lacrosse coaching; her father is a high school girls’ lacrosse coach in her hometown of Naples, Florida, and her sister serves as an assistant women’s lacrosse coach at NCAA DIII Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

While at Delaware State, she enrolled in the University’s Sport Management Master’s Program and is currently working toward her degree.

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Erica Erb

Erica Erb joins the Amherst Women’s Lacrosse coaching staff after spending four years in the United Kingdom.

Erb is currently an assistant coach for British Lacrosse Women’s Sixes which saw Team GB compete in the World Games in Birmingham, AL in July of 2022. The team is currently preparing for a Sixes Lacrosse Invitational Tournament in Hong Kong that will take place at the end of December 2023.

Erb also served as the head coach for the Wales Women’s Lacrosse National Team. Erb led Wales in the 2022 World Championship in Towson, MD where the team claimed the #9 world ranking after completion of the tournament.

In the summer of 2023, Erb coached in The Fly tournament hosted by England Lacrosse as the head coach for the men’s Rise Sixes team.

Prior, Erb served as the head coach for the Women’s 1s at the University of Exeter. During her first season in 2019-2020, the team was undefeated heading into the BUCS National Championship before the game was canceled due to COVID-19.

Previously, Erb spent two years at St. Helen and St. Katharine Day School in Abingdon, England. There, she coached the Senior lacrosse teams while working as a full-time member of the PE teaching department.

Erb spent her playing career at Old Dominion University. ODU made appearances in the CAA Championship Tournament during her sophomore and senior seasons. 2009 saw the Monarchs ranking as high as #18 in NCAA Division I.

While in the United Kingdom Erb earned a double-masters in international business and psychology.

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