DURHAM, N.H. – Sandy Bridgeman (UNH ’87) announced Tuesday her resignation as the head coach of the University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team. Bridgeman, a three-time America East Coach of the Year selection, compiled an overall record of 123-105 in 13 years at UNH to become the winningest coach in the program’s 33-year history. The University’s athletic department will immediately commence a nationwide search for her successor.
“It has been an incredible honor to be a part of the UNH community for the past 13 years,” Bridgeman said. “I am blessed to have been surrounded by tremendous student-athletes, administrators, colleagues and friends throughout my career here. I leave the University with sincere gratitude and deep appreciation for allowing me the privilege of leading this lacrosse program.
"I wish the UNH lacrosse program and athletic department the very best this season and into the future as I look forward to following the 'Cats and their future successes,” she added. “For my family, this decision to relocate for my husband's new job opportunity is the right move even though it is extremely difficult to leave people and a place you feel so strongly connected to.”
Bridgeman guided the Wildcats to a league-record 12th consecutive appearance in the America East tournament in 2009. UNH finished at 12-7 to mark the seventh time in nine years the ‘Cats reached double digits in the win column. New Hampshire tallied a program-record 15 victories in 2004 as well as 13 last year, 12 in 2002 and 11 in the ’01, ’05 and ’06 seasons.
“Sandy will be a tremendous loss for the University,” UNH Senior Associate Athletic Director Steve Metcalf said. “As a very proud alum she always represented her team and the University with the utmost integrity. Sandy has built the lacrosse team into a national-caliber program.”
The Wildcats were nationally ranked in every poll this season to extend their streak of consecutive weeks in the poll to 17. In national statistics, the ‘Cats were No. 5 in defense in ’09 and No. 7 in ’08.
During Bridgeman’s tenure, UNH made NCAA tournament appearances in 2004 (conference champion) and 2008 (at-large bid). The ‘Cats were league tourney champions in ’04 and finished as runner-up six times.
In addition to being honored as the league’s Coach of the Year in 2001, 2002 and 2004, Bridgeman was named IWLCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year in ’04.
Under her tutelage, six Wildcats garnered All-America accolades.
As a UNH student-athlete, Bridgeman was a member of lacrosse teams that won the 1985 NCAA championship and two ECAC titles. She received All-America honors in both lax (First Team in both 1984 and 1985) and field hockey (First Team in ’85) and went on to represent the United States in the 1988 Olympics as a member of the field hockey team.