The Sage Colleges’ department of athletics has selected Tamara Mills (Hopkinton, Massachusetts) as the new head field hockey coach. Mills replaces Gillian McDonald, who stepped down after leading the Gator field hockey program during its inaugural season. A 2016 graduate of Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster, PA), Mills arrives at Sage having spent the last year as the assistant field hockey and women’s lacrosse coach at DePauw University (Greencastle, IN).
Sage Director of Athletics Sandy Augstein-Collins commented on the selection of Mills as the program’s field hockey coach, “We are very excited to have Tamara join us.” She continued, “She brings a wealth of experience as a player and a coach and we are thrilled to have her as a member of our department. She has an energy that is contagious and will certainly help our field hockey program and our department as a whole.”
Mills said of her appointment, “I am thrilled to be joining the Sage Athletic Department as the field hockey coach and grateful for this opportunity.” She added, “I immediately felt the sense of community when I stepped on campus and I look forward to contributing to that. I want to thank Sandy Augstein-Collins and the rest of the search committee for entrusting me to lead this program. I am excited to meet the team and for this fall season.”
During her time at DePauw, she became extremely involved in the athletic department in addition to her role as the assistant field hockey and assistant women’s lacrosse coach. She also worked with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) as well as developing and overseeing the strength and conditioning programs for the DePauw teams. Before her time at DePauw, Mills was a graduate student at McDaniel College and also served as the Interim Head Coach from August of 2016 until May of 2018. While at McDaniel, Mills also achieved her Masters of Kinesiology degree. She holds a Level 1 accreditation from the United States Field Hockey Association and is also in the process of earning her certification as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
An active participant with the U.S.A. Futures Development Program, Mills has also worked with the College Connections and Elite Field Hockey Camps.
As a collegiate student-athlete Mills excelled at Franklin and Marshall College having helped the Diplomats to a combined 70-11 mark with three trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament including a pair of Sweet Sixteen appearances. A midfielder at F & M, she played in 63 career games and had 31 career points with three game-winning goals despite suffering an injury during her collegiate career. As a junior, she was named to Longstreth/NFHCA All-South Region Second Team after starting 21 games with a personal-best 22 points on seven goals with eight assists. She added All-Centennial Conference Second Team honors as well as a selection to the 2014 Longstreth/NFHCA All-South Region Second Team.
A graduate of Hopkinton High School, she was a four-year varsity starter on the field hockey team and a three-time first team all-league. She helped to lead the team to a D2 State Championship in 2008 and four Trivalley League Championships during her scholastic career. A team captain and a team MVP, she earned numerous awards on the field and in the classroom including a selection to the National Honors Society as well as the President's Education Award. Mills was also saluted as the Joanne Paquette Senior Academic All-Star Award recipient and was named to the National Academic Field Hockey Squad.
Mills inherits a team that is coming off a successful first season in the fall of 2018. The team posted a record of 4-13. For the season, Sage strung together a two-game win streak, while also finishing with four wins and went to overtime three times as well with opponents. On the year, Sage had two shutouts with 24 goals and 3.303 goals allowed average. Additionally, Sage was also honored by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association as the one of the 131 Division III field hockey programs honored as a recipient of the 2018 Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Academic Team Award. The Division III National Academic Team Award recognizes programs that earned a team grade-point average of 3.0 or higher during the fall semester of the 2018-19 school year.
Additionally, the 2018 Sage team had a pair of student-athletes recognized as Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III Scholars of Distinction. A member of the first Sage field hockey team, Sage’s rookies Abigayle Greier (Elma, NY/Iroquois Central) and Charity Rushinski (Shushan, NY/Salem Central) were both honored as two of the 268 student-athletes recognized. Greier and Rushinski were also honored by the NFHCA as one of the 1,746 student-athletes from 147 Division III institutions earned recognition on the 2018 Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad. The Division III National Academic Squad program honors student-athletes who have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of 3.3 or higher through the first semester of the 2018-19 academic year.
The Gators open the 2019 season on the road competing at the Drew University Fall Festival (Madison, NJ) on August 30 and 31 taking on Drew University and Cabrini College. The home opener for the Gators is slated for September 14 as they host Keuka College at 1 p.m. at the University at Albany’s Alumni Turf Field.