By: Pat Salvas
HANOVER, N.H. – Dartmouth Director of Athletics and Recreation Harry Sheehy has announced the hiring of Mark Egner as the head coach of Dartmouth field hockey.
Egner becomes just the fifth head coach as the program embarks on its 49th season in 2020. He comes to Hanover after spending the last five seasons on the sidelines at William & Mary with the last two seeing Egner elevated to associate head coach.
Prior to his years at William & Mary, the native of Ireland spent two seasons as an assistant at Longwood.
“This is a truly humbling opportunity for me, and one I am absolutely delighted to accept,” Egner said. “Dartmouth is a phenomenal institution with a clear focus on holistic student-athlete development. Dartmouth Peak Performance is industry leading and I am confident that with the right coaching staff and team culture, we can help to continue to develop graduates who will make our alumnae proud.
“I want to thank Director of Athletics Harry Sheehy and Associate AD Jennifer Chuks for trusting me to help lead this program into the future,” Egner added. “It was clear from my first conversation with each that this College and I have a lot of shared values.”
During his stint in Williamsburg, Egner was responsible for coordinating the Tribe’s defensive unit, while also handling the program’s administrative responsibilities and recruiting duties. William & Mary earned a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship Game in both 2017 and 2018 — a first for the program since 2002 — winning the title and earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament in the latter. The Tribe defeated Monmouth in the 2018 opening round for the program’s first-ever win in the national tournament.
Under his guidance, a William & Mary student-athlete was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Year in three straight seasons with Erin Menges becoming just the second player in league history to win the award multiple times. Egner coached multiple players who would go on to earn spots on several Team USA squads at various levels during this time.
At Longwood, Egner served as an assistant and helped the Lancers improve their team defense to a top-50 unit in the nation and recruited the department’s female rookie of the year across all sports in 2014-15.
Egner also has several years of experience with USA Field Hockey, having served as coach, site director and selector for the Futures program in Virginia. In those roles, he worked with various individuals in the high school and collegiate ranks to identify and train those on the path playing for their country. He also helped coach the U19 Junior National Team on a tour of Germany in the spring of 2016, and has coached at the Young Women’s National Championships over two recent summers. In March of 2018, he again traveled with the U19 team on a competition tour of Ireland, and was named an assistant coach for the U17 Junior National team for the 2018-19 season.
Egner also worked for the Irish Hockey Association and spent several years coaching at levels of the national program in his native Ireland before making the journey across the Atlantic.
“Over the last several years, I have worked alongside some of the best coaches in the world of field hockey,” Egner said. “Tess Ellis (William & Mary head coach) has helped me to grow as a coach and a person, and truly prepared me for this role. The lessons I learned from her will serve me in great stead as I transition into this head coaching role. Iain Byers (Longwood head coach) took a chance on me, and brought me to the USA. That first step opened me up to a world of opportunity and I can never repay him for that.”
Egner earned a Bachelor of Education degree from the Church of Ireland College of Education in 2009, and completed the same degree with Honors the following year at Trinity College Dublin. He is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Performance Coaching from the University of Stirling in Scotland.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“It is my pleasure to welcome Mark to the Dartmouth Athletics Department and the greater Dartmouth community. Mark impressed everyone with his thoughtfulness, passion, work ethic and vision for the field hockey program. The women on the team have every reason to be excited about the future.” – Harry Sheehy, Dartmouth Director of Athletics and Recreation
“Mark possesses a passion for life which carries over into coaching. His enthusiasm for teaching field hockey and developing a positive team culture is contagious. The results are players playing for each other and a stronger overall team. Based on his knowledge of the game, he is able to challenge players on both the technical and tactical side of the game. I believe Mark is one of the most talented coaches in the country whose stock continues to rise. He has helped in the development of the William & Mary program into one of the top-25 teams in the nation.” – Tess Ellis, William & Mary Field Hockey Head Coach
“The enthusiasm and passion that Mark has for the game will serve him well in his new role. His commitment to develop his coaching practice over the past years is admirable and I am pleased he has been given the opportunity to lead a Division I program. I look forward to following the team’s progress over the coming months and years.” – Craig Parnham, Director of Coach Education & Learning, USA Field Hockey