ADRIAN, Mich.--Adrian College director of athletics Mike Duffy announced on Thursday that Samantha Fallon will be the first head coach of the new American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 2 women's program that will take to the ice for the 2017-18 campaign.
Fallon, who is a 2016 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Boston, will also serve as an assistant coach under Brett Berger for the Bulldogs' nationally-ranked ACHA D-1 women's program.
"We are glad that Samantha has accepted this position to head up our latest hockey program at Adrian College," Duffy said. "Samantha's experience as a NCAA skater and familiarity with the Northeast will help us expand our recruiting footprint into another part of the country. We look forward to her becoming part of the Bulldog family and leading our student-athletes to make history as the first class for ACHA D-2 women's hockey on campus."
Berger added, "We are very excited to bring Samantha on board for next season to assist the D-1 program and run the D-2 team. She brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and playing experience. We look forward to Sam starting the program and bringing her own coaching style to the team.
With her assistance at the D1 level, we look forward to creating a strong pipeline with the Boston area. There is a ton of talent out East and we look forward to Sam's connections to bring some of that talent to Adrian College."
Fallon skated for four seasons with the NCAA Division III Beacons, earning New England Hockey Writers Association (NEHWA) All-Star and second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East honors during the 2013-14 campaign after leading UMB with 16 goals and 19 points. That season, the sophomore also ranked second on the team with 20 blocked shots, saw the program's first-ever Codfish Bowl Tournament title, and was the team MVP.
In 87 career games, she totaled 29 goals and 13 assists for 42 points--leaving as the Beacons' active leader in goals and points.
The Pembroke, Mass., product who earned a degree in psychology and sociology, also played two years on the UMB women's soccer team in 2012-13. She graduated last May.
"I'm really excited for this opportunity and to be a part of Adrian Athletics," Fallon stated. "Being a first-year coach and being able to start a team from scratch will have its difficulties but also will open many doors for opportunities and growth. I hope to bring my knowledge as a forward and defenseman from UMass-Boston, and the connections I have in the hockey world on the East Coast, to Adrian and create a strong competitive first-year team in this program."
Fallon's other athletic work experience includes coaching youth hockey for Pro-Ambitions, a camp based in Dedham, Mass., and serving as an assistant to the UMB athletics director overseeing event management and facilities.
Fallon relishes the significance of putting her stamp on a new program that will add to seven, the number of ice hockey programs at the College.
"Having to build a team from scratch will really challenge me to learn the ins and outs of Adrian College quickly, but I am very excited to get started and start creating a team," she explains. "Adrian has one of the best athletic facilities I have seen which I'm excited to work in and also show to recruits. I think anyone wanting to play competitively and coach at the college level, if they were to see Adrian's facilities they would have a very easy time choosing Adrian to continue their academic and hockey career."
Fallon will start her new duties at Adrian in January.
"I will be starting that first week, planning to learn as much information about the institution, academically and athletically, and begin recruiting as soon as possible. I hope to find some skilled, competitive players that are excited to be part of a beginning program that already has highly-successful hockey teams."
ACHA D2 women's hockey will be the 39th sport offered at Adrian College, which provides regional and national competitive athletics for over 800 student-athletes.
Adrian College officials also will be announcing in the near future the launch of a 40th intercollegiate sport when plans have been finalized.