University of Hartford

University of Hartford Dept of Athletics
Sports Center - 200 Bloomfield Ave. West Hartford, CT 06117
Division 1 Connecticut Northeast
Private Medium National competitor


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Meg Decker

Meg Decker was hired as the first head coach in Hartford Women's Lacrosse history in August 2016. Decker joined the Hawks after helping to build the Virginia Commonwealth women’s lacrosse program from scratch as an assistant coach and being a player on the inaugural women’s lacrosse team at the United States Naval Academy.

The Hawks announced the addition of women’s lacrosse as a varsity sport in October 2015 with the program set to begin competition during the 2017-18 school year. The Hawks will be the eighth of the nine America East schools to sponsor women’s lacrosse, with Maine the only conference member without the sport.

Decker spent two years as an assistant to VCU Head Coach Jen O’Brien, assisting with the building of the program from her hiring in 2014 and helping to coach the team in its first season as a varsity program in 2016. In this role, she simultaneously recruited three different recruiting classes, blended recruited student-athletes with existing club team players, and fundraised and marketed for the newly-founded program.

The Rams were ranked highest among the five first-year Division I programs in 2016 and team members earned two Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors and one A-10 Player of the Week laurel. The program won its inaugural game, 21-9 over Gardner-Webb and later earned a conference victory over St. Bonaventure.

Decker has also amassed coaching experience by serving as the head coach of Flash Club Women's Lacrosse in Tustin, Calif., and as the director of the Whirlwind Lacrosse Tournament in Newport Beach, Calif. She has also been an individual instructor, coaching midfielders and draw specialists nationally.

The native of Catonsville, Md., had a standout playing career, spending two years at Navy (2008-09) and two at Loyola (2010-11). At the college level, she was an All-American in her debut season, finishing sixth in the nation in goals per game and 10th in the nation in draw controls. She was named National Rookie of the Year that campaign. In total, Decker scored 113 goals and collected 154 draw controls as a collegian. She helped lead Loyola to a Big East championship in her final season and to a school-record 17 wins and an NCAA Quarterfinal appearance.

A two-time All-Big East selection, Decker was invited to the U.S. Lacrosse National Pool Tryouts in 2015. In May of 2016 she was selected in the inaugural United Women’s Lacrosse League Draft by the Philadelphia Force.

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Tara Coyle

Tara Coyle enters her second season as a member of the University of Hartford women’s lacrosse coaching staff for the 2019 season. Joining the Hawks as a volunteer assistant coach prior to the 2018 season, Coyle, who comes to Hartford from Virginia Commonwealth University, was elevated to assistant coach at the conclusion of her first year. She was then promoted to Associate Head Coach in the beginning of the program's second season in 2019.

Coyle was an integral part of the inaugural women's lacrosse team at VCU, serving as a member of the Rams’ coaching staff for three years from 2014-17, including a brief stint as Interim Head Coach in 2016.

During Coyle's time at VCU, the Rams were ranked highest among the five first-year Division I programs in 2016, with team members earning two Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors and one A-10 Player of the Week laurel. The program won its inaugural game, 21-9, over Gardner-Webb and later earned its first conference victory over St. Bonaventure.

A native of Farmingdale, N.Y., Coyle had a standout playing career at the University of Richmond. She was an All-Conference midfielder and served as Richmond’s captain during her senior season in 2013, while leading the Spiders to the A-10 Championship Game all four years.

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Sam Herman

Sam Herman enters her first season as a member of the Hartford women's lacrosse team's coaching staff in 2020. Herman, who was brought on board as an assistant coach in August 2019, joins the staff following a record-breaking career at High Point University from 2016-19.

An Abingdon, Md., native, Herman finished her career as High Point's record holder for single-season draw controls and total draw controls with 79 and 228, respectively. In addition to her outstanding draw control numbers, Herman ended her career with 91 goals and 16 assists, as she was part of a Panthers team that won three consecutive Big South Championships in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Herman was also named to the All-Big South First Team in her junior and senior seasons, and the Big South All-Tournament Team in her freshman and junior seasons. Named the teams' MVP at the conclusion of her junior campaign, she served as the Panther's team captain during her senior season.

"This is an awesome opportunity for both Sam and for our program. I believe it is a really great match," Decker said. "We are looking forward to kicking off year three with a talented coaching staff and incredible cast of high-level players."

Prior to arriving at Hartford, Herman served as an assistant coach with the Elite Lacrosse Club in Bel Air, Md., since 2014. Her responsibilities included organizing practices, conditioning and game plans, developing individual skills and teaching the draw to her players. Herman has also held similar roles at the Panther Lacrosse Club in High Point, N.C, and TYLA Honeybees Lacrosse in Greensboro, N.C , where she worked with players at both the elementary and middle school levels.

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