Danielle Spencer was named the head coach of the Dartmouth women's lacrosse team on August 8, 2016.
With her hiring, Spencer became just the fourth head coach in the program's 44-year history.
The 2017 season was Spencer's first on the Big Green's sidelines, guiding the team to a 7-8 overall mark. Under Spencer's leadership, Kathryn Giroux and Courtney Weisse were named members of the Second Team All-Ivy League with Elizabeth Mastrio earning Honorable Mention.
Giroux set a new Ivy League record with 108 draw controls in Spencer's first year as head coach, becoming just the second player in the conference's four-plus decades to eclipse triple digits in a single-season.
Spencer came to Hanover after four seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Northwestern. Prior to joining the Wildcats' staff in 2012, the Brighton, New York, native spent a season working on the sidelines at Stanford.
“Dartmouth is a world-class institution that excels in Division I athletics,” Spencer said. “I am honored and extremely excited to accept this position and lead the women's lacrosse program.
“I would like to thank Athletics Director Harry Sheehy, Wendy Bordeau, and the entire athletic department at Dartmouth for making this incredible opportunity possible,” Spencer continued. “I would also like to thank President Morty Schapiro, Dr. Jim Phillips, Janna Blais and Kelly Amonte Hiller of Northwestern for their support and guidance. I am prepared for this opportunity because of the mentorship I received from Kelly as a player and coach at Northwestern. I look forward to meeting the current team as well as former players and getting to work!”
During her time in Evanston, Spencer helped Northwestern to four NCAA Tournament appearances and a pair of berths in the Final Four (2013, 2014). The Wildcats were also winners of the 2013 American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) Championship and finished in the top 10 of the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll in all four seasons.
As the recruiting coordinator, Spencer was responsible for continuing to bring top players into the program, including the group in 2014 that was ranked as the best recruiting class in the nation.
A four-year standout at Northwestern from 2006-10, Spencer was a part of three national championship teams (2007, 2008, 2009) and one national runner-up (2010) during her outstanding playing career.
As a player, Spencer was a two-time All-American, nabbing first-team honors as a senior in 2010 a year after claiming second-team recognition. As a senior, Spencer also earned All-America honors from WomensLax.com and WomensLacrosse.com in addition to a spot on the All-ALC First Team and ALC All-Tournament Team. A three-time All-ALC player, she earned first-team recognition as both a junior and senior, while being honored on the second team during her sophomore campaign.
Spencer finished her four seasons with the Wildcats having played in 83 games, making 65 starts. Her career totals rank among the best in Northwestern's storied history as she finished with 193 goals (7th), 238 points (8th) and 203 draw controls (3rd). The 110 draw controls as a senior was the third-most by a collegiate player in NCAA history at the time.
Most recently, Spencer played with the Boston Storm of the United Women's Lacrosse League (UWLX) during the first season for both the team and league. Spencer and her teammates finished as the league runner-up, falling in the championship game.
Spencer graduated from Northwestern in 2010 with a degree in social policy.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"This is a great choice by Dartmouth. I could not think of a better role model and mentor for the Dartmouth Women's lacrosse student athletes. Losing a great coach and loyal friend is tough, but Spence is ready. I could not be happier for her."
- Kelly Amonte Hiller
Northwestern Women's Lacrosse Head Coach
“Danielle is a remarkably talented person and coach. She and Dartmouth will be a perfect fit.”
- Morton Schapiro
Professor and President, Northwestern University
“I could not be more pleased to welcome Danielle to our athletics department and the Dartmouth community at large. Her philosophy, competitive spirit and work ethic will make her transition to the Hanover plain seamless. I know she will be a wonderful role model for the women of Dartmouth lacrosse.”
- Harry Sheehy
Dartmouth Director of Athletics and Recreation