July 13, 2010
STANFORD, Calif.- Tara Danielson has been named Stanford's field hockey head coach, as announced today by Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby.
Danielson becomes the sixth head coach in the history of the program and replaces Lesley Irvine, who accepted a position as Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator at Bowling Green State University last month after seven years at the helm.
"Tara's commitment to development within her sport and infectious enthusiasm make her a great fit at Stanford and we are excited to have her on board," said Bowlsby. "In addition to her high-energy approach and innovative coaching and training philosophies, we are looking forward to Tara's leadership of our field hockey program and remain equally confident she can continue to build on our success while enhancing our reputation as one of the fast-rising programs in the nation."
"I am excited to be part of a long-standing tradition of academic and athletic achievement at Stanford," said Danielson. "I am eager to build on the program's recent successes and contribute to the rich history of athletic accomplishments. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to becoming part of the Stanford community."
In addition to enjoying an extensive international playing career, Danielson has developed a reputation as a pioneer within the field hockey community through her efforts on the developmental level while implementing several successful outreach programs.
Since 2005, Danielson has served as the Chief Executive Officer of RUSH Field Hockey, Inc., a non-profit public benefit corporation committed to fostering the growth and development of field hockey in the Southern California region. As CEO, Danielson's primary focus included grassroots development and generating community-oriented programs that encourage leadership through field hockey. During her five-year involvement with RUSH, the organization grew from 30 members to over 700, while over 50 participants eventually went on to compete at Division I, II and III institutions. Over the last two seasons, RUSH teams captured titles in tournaments such as the 2009 California Cup, 2009 Festival, 2010 National Indoor Tournament and 2010 California Cup.
Prior to her involvement with RUSH, Danielson was a member of the USA Field Hockey National Team, training and competing at the Olympic level from 1998-2005 while participating in 89 international contests during that span. In addition to representing Team USA at international events such as the Pan American Games, World Cup and Olympic qualifying, Danielson was also a member of Team USA's National Indoor Field Hockey squad for two seasons (2005-06).
Following stops as an assistant coach at Boston College in 1996 and Connecticut in 1998, Danielson served as the head coach of Sacred Heart during the 2000 campaign.
A native of Greenfield, Mass., Tara Jelley graduated from Massachusetts in 1994 with a degree in sport management. A four-year letterwinner in field hockey and team captain during her senior year, she helped guide the Minutewomen to a pair of Atlantic 10 championships and four NCAA Tournament berths, including a record-breaking 1992 campaign that resulted in a trip to the national semifinals and the program's winningest season in school history.
Danielson was a three-sport standout at Greenfield High School, leading the Green Wave to a Massachusetts state championship in field hockey while also competing in basketball and softball.
Danielson received her master's degree from Springfield College in athletic administration in 1999.
Danielson and her husband, Steve, a member of the 1996 USA Olympic Field Hockey team, were married on Apr. 7, 2006. The couple has a daughter.
Stanford (17-5, 5-1 NorPac) is coming off its best season in program history in 2009, establishing a school record with 17 victories. The Cardinal captured the NorPac Tournament championship for the third straight season and remained a fixture in the national rankings for more than two months. Stanford won its second NCAA Play-In game in three seasons and reached the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in school history. Stanford's record-setting season was due in large part to its high-powered offense, as the Cardinal established single-season school records in goals (87), assists (60), points (234) and shots (410).