Heather Young reached a pair of milestones in her 10th season at the helm of Colgate Women's Lacrosse.
Young in 2016 topped the 100 career victory mark and also became the winningest Colgate coach in program history when the Raiders outlasted Binghamton 13-11 on April 12. She ended the season with 87 Colgate wins, bettering the previous record of 82 set by Cathy Foto from 1990-99.
Young's record at Colgate now stands at 93-94 over her 11 Colgate seasons, and 110-124 counting a three-year rebuilding project at Davidson from 2004-06. Even more impressive is the 52-37 (.584) record Young has fashioned against Patriot League competition, including back-to-back Patriot League championships in 2008 and 2009.
Young's teams have made the Patriot League Tournament in nine of her 11 seasons and advanced to the championship game three times. For her efforts, Young twice has been named Patriot League Coach of the Year.
During her time in Hamilton, she has tutored 25 All-Patriot League First-Team performers, eight IWLCA All-Region members, two Patriot League Tournament MVPs, two PL Defensive Player-of-the-Year selections, one Patriot League Rookie-of-the-Year honoree and two of the top-five points scorers in Colgate history.
Young guided some impressive individual performances in the 2017 season as Isabel Kreitler scored 46 goals on her way to a 57-point season and an All-Academic Patriot League Selection. Haley O'Hanlon was named to the All-Patriot League First Team for the third consecutive season with 34 goals and 15 assists for 49 points while her 26 caused turnovers with 10th in a single season in program history and her 49 draw controls were sixth.
The Raiders managed a 6-3 record in Patriot League play in the 2016 season on their way to a fifth-place finish in the league. Colgate finished the season with five straight wins, including four in league play to reach their 6-3 finish. Young recorded her 100th career victory, and broke Colgate's program record with 83 wins for the Raiders, with their win at Binghamton on April 12. Haley O'Hanlon was named to the Patriot League First Team and IWLCA All-Region Second Team while Isabel Kreitler and Kristen Norden were named to the Patriot League Second Team.
The 2015 campaign saw Young’s squad post double-digit wins for the first time since the 2009 campaign with a 10-6 overall mark. The Raiders also posted their best Patriot League mark in four seasons with a 6-2 record. For her efforts, Young was named Patriot League Coach-of-the-Year for the second time in her career.
Individually, freshman Haley O’Hanlon was named Patriot League Rookie-of-the-Year as she ranked among the top 10 players in the League in goals, assists and points. O’Hanlon and senior Jenna Frost were both IWLCA All-Region selections, giving the Raiders two all-region picks in the same campaign for the first time since 2011.
In 2012, Young led the team to a 4-2 Patriot League mark and the second seed in the Patriot League Tournament. The Raiders really came back in the second half of the season and won five of their last seven regular-season contests to earn a spot in the tournament. Young helped coach Courtney Miller to 241 career points for third on the all-time list and third in career goals with 168.
She coached the team in 2011 to their fifth Patriot League Tournament under her tutelage and the Raiders made their third PL Championship game with Young as coach. Colgate earned five wins conference wins for the third time under Young and had a winning season for the fourth-straight season. She helped Christina Roa earn PL Defensive Player of the Year award.
In 2010, she coached the Raiders to their third-straight Patriot League Tournament and finished with a 9-8 record overall. Colgate went 4-2 in league play and earned the third seed in the tournament and fell to second-seeded Navy in the semifinals. She saw senior Meghan Lawler eclipse the career assist record at Colgate as she finished with 86 in four years. Lawler also ranks four in total points with 210.
Bolstered by a top-10 ranked defense and the 14th-ranked scoring offense in the nation, Young, the 2009 Patriot League Coach of the Year, guided the Raiders to a 14-5 record and the program’s fourth NCAA appearance. The 14 wins broke the single-season record at Colgate, which was formerly held by the 2004 and 2005 teams that posted 13 each. The Raiders recorded a convincing 17-4 victory over Navy in the league’s title game to advance to the NCAA Tournament to play second-ranked Maryland in the opening round. Six players went on to receive all-league honors, including five being named first team recipients. Young coached Maddie Kearns and Colleen Bubnack to second team all-region accolades. Kearns became the fifth player in the program’s history to be named the league’s defensive player of the year.
In only her second season, Young piloted the Raiders to their third Patriot League title in a four-year span and another trip to the NCAA Tournament. After falling in the regular-season to league rival American 13-10, the Raiders rebounded and downed the Eagles 13-8 in Washington for the right to play state rival Marist in the NCAA play-in game. Colgate prevailed over the Red Foxes 19-18 for the right to play second seeded Pennsylvania in the opening round. The Raiders fell to the Quakers 16-7 to finish the season with an 11-10 mark. Young coached five all-Patriot League performers, including three first-team selections.
Young was named Colgate’s seventh head coach in program history in August 2006. She arrived from Davidson, where she served as the head women’s lacrosse coach for three seasons. During her final year with the Wildcats, Young led Davidson to a 9-7 overall record that tied the school record for wins. She coached goalkeeper Leslie Smith, who broke the school record with 25 saves in a single game, as well as three IWLCA all-academic team selections.
Young took over the program in February 2004, two games into the season, after serving as the assistant coach, and guided the team through a challenging schedule as the interim coach. Under her watch, senior Lauren Williams and freshman Alicia Zahn earned all-conference second-team honors.
Young has coached at numerous camps for all skill levels, including camps held at Duke and Hofstra. She has also worked as a field marketing representative for Cascade Lacrosse in Syracuse.
The former Fayetteville-Manlius High School standout graduated in 2003 from the University of Connecticut, where she became the Huskies’ first IWCLA Regional All-America honoree as a freshman. Bliss was a four-year starter at UConn, where she tallied 119 points (98 goals, 21 assists) in 59 outings.
She currently ranks fifth in career goals (98) and sixth with 119 career points. During her career, she produced a 26-game point streak (Mar. 3, 2000 to Apr. 18, 2001), which is tied for second all-time at UConn and a 19-game goal scoring streak (Mar. 30, 2000 to Mar. 14, 2001) which is tied for third. In 2000, she tallied 43 goals, which is third for a single season at UConn and her 48 points that season ranks tied for ninth all-time. She also ranks tied for ninth with 21 career assists and is fourth with 263 career shots. As a senior, Young served as captain of the Huskies team that earned the school’s first-ever national ranking in lacrosse. She was a two-time member of the dean¹s list and the Big East Academic Honor Roll, and was named a New England Scholar in 2003.
Young holds a bachelor’s degree in human development and family relations with a concentration in childhood and adolescence. She married Colgate assistant football coach Chris Young on July 4, 2009. The couple has three daughters, Ela, Mia and Charli, and a son, AJ.