William Smith College Director of Athletics Deb Steward announced that Head Lacrosse Coach Brighde Dougherty ’04 will step down from her post effective June 12 to pursue a career as an adventure therapist.
“Brighde has been a great leader of our lacrosse team,” Steward said. “She has such great pride in being a Heron and I recognize that this was a very difficult decision for her. She has taught our young women to pursue their goals with passion and we wish her well as she pursues her goals.”
Dougherty just completed her third season of leading the William Smith lacrosse program. She is 25-24 at her alma mater and, including two seasons as the head coach at Pomona Pitzer, 32-47 overall. Dougherty has led the Herons to three top-four finishes in the Liberty League, including consecutive second place efforts in 2013 and 2014.
William Smith posted its best overall record under Dougherty in 2013, posting a 10-7 mark, the first double digit win total for the program since 2009. A year later, her charges recorded their best conference record (8-1) in over a decade. This past spring, the Herons were 7-9 overall and 5-4 in the league.
Dougherty’s tutelage helped Heron student-athletes earn 10 All-Liberty League awards, including the 2014 Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year Rachel Hughes, nine IWLCA All-Region awards, and two All-America awards. Off the field, her Herons were all-stars in the classroom as well, garnering 26 Liberty League All-Academic awards and compiling a team GPA of 3.4.
Including an All-American playing career and four seasons as an assistant coach, Dougherty has spent 11 of the past 15 years at William Smith. She is just the second woman to lead the William Smith lacrosse program. Dougherty succeeded U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Famer Pat Genovese, who coached the Herons from their inaugural season in 1972 through 2012.
William Smith loses just two players to graduation off a young roster that featured eight first-years and nine sophomores. The 2016 Herons will have four seniors: Geneva Calder, Hannah Connolly, Allie O’Hara, and Emy Stratton.
William Smith will conduct a national search for Dougherty’s replacement.