Dartmouth Coach Leaves for Stanford
Dartmouth softball coach Rachel Hanson has left the school to take the same position at Stanford University. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)
Dartmouth softball coach Rachel Hanson, shown during the 2014 season, has left the school to take the same position at Stanford University. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)
Rachel Hanson, who coached Dartmouth College’s softball team to its first Ivy League title and NCAA tournament appearance this season, has been hired for the same post at Stanford University.
Big Green Athletic Director Harry Sheehy confirmed the move via email Friday night, after his department posted an ad for Hanson’s former position on an NCAA website earlier in the day.
Dartmouth went 31-19 overall and 18-2 in league competition this spring. The Big Green won the North Division title for a second consecutive year and set records for Ivy victories, home runs and RBIs during a season. Dartmouth began 15-0 in the Ivies and boasted both the league player and pitcher of the year in Morgan McCalmon and Kristen Rumley.
Hanson’s overall record of 88-86 leaves her two shy of Dartmouth’s career record for coaching victories, held by her predecessor, Christine Vogt, who was 90-147-1 during six seasons. Hanson arrived after five seasons coaching softball at the University of Dallas, an NCAA Division III program, and was 50-30 in Ivy League play.
At Stanford, Hanson will inherit a program that stumbled this spring. The Cardinal was 30-25 overall and 5-19 in the Pac-12 Conference and finished eighth out of its nine softball-playing members. Stanford posted its 18th consecutive winning season, but its first in 17 years without an NCAA tournament berth. John Rittman, the program’s 18-year head coach, resigned June 2 in what the San Francisco Chronicle described as “a major surprise.”
Stanford Athletic Director Bernard Muir declined to comment on Rittman’s exit, prompting the Chronicle’s Tom Fitzgerald to write that it “may be a sign that the bar is being raised much higher for sports” at the university. “According to sources close to the athletic department, most Stanford teams are now expected to contend not just for postseason tournaments, but for national championships.”
Rittman guided Stanford to the Women’s College World Series in 2001 and 2004 and won a conference title in 2005. He produced 13 seasons of at least 40 victories and at least one All-American performer for 15 consecutive seasons. He was a U.S. national team staff member from 2001-08 and was with medal-winning teams at two Summer Olympics. His Stanford record was 750-359 and news reports in the wake of his departure noted that the Cardinal was gutted by injuries and had to use four players not recruited as pitchers in the circle this spring.
Coaching turnover has been somewhat brisk at Dartmouth this year. Women’s cross country coach Mark Coogan left to work for a shoe manufacturer in January, women’s soccer coach Theresa Romagnolo departed for Notre Dame in March and men’s rowing boss Topher Bordeau and men’s lacrosse coach Andy Towers were recently fired. Women’s rowing coach Wendy Bordeau, Topher Bourdeau’s wife, moved to a newly-created administrative position in the department earlier this month.