The University of Maine field hockey head coach Josette Babineau is pleased to announce the hiring of Michelle Simpson as UMaine’s new associate head field hockey coach.
Simpson comes to Maine after serving eight seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater, UAlbany.
“I am so excited to welcome Michelle to our program,” Babineau said. “Michelle’s experience both as a coach and player will impact our team tremendously. I feel very fortunate that Michelle decided to take on this position. I look forward for the opportunity to work with Michelle and to continue to grow and develop our program both in conference and nationally.”
Simpson grew up in Middlesbrough, England and played one season at the University of Teesside, earning Sportswomen of the Year honors in 2004. Following her year stint at Teesside, Simpson committed to play at UAlbany for the Great Danes where she displayed one of the best careers in program history.
“I would like to thank Josette for giving me this opportunity to further my career,” Simpson said. “I look forward to learning from her and working alongside her in continuing to build on the success that has already been achieved. I am thoroughly excited to become a part of this UMaine field hockey program that is filled with great players, great tradition and a strong sense a Black Bear pride.”
During her collegiate playing career, Simpson was named to the America East conference first-team her sophomore, junior and senior year. In Simpson’s sophomore season, she took home the America East conference Offensive Player of The Year accolade. During her senior campaign, Simpson guided the Great Danes to a conference championship and the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth in 2008. She also became the first play in Great Danes’ history to earn Division I All-American honors, which Simpson did twice in her junior and senior season. She received UAlbany’s female athlete of the year in her senior year. Following her decorated playing career at UAlbany, Simpson continued playing field hockey for a couple of years back in England before returning to UAlbany where she took the job as assistant coach.
Simpson specialized in coaching the offense and worked closely with the goalkeepers. Under Simpson, two goalkeepers combined for four America East Goalkeeper of the Year awards in seven seasons. The Great Danes were America East champions in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 during Simpson’s tutelage in seven seasons. Though she may not have been the head coach for the Great Danes, her phenomenal work certainly did not go unnoticed as she was named to the America East Coaching Staff of the Year in 2014 and 2016. Last year (2016) Simpson was inducted into the University of Albany Hall of Fame for her amazing career accomplishments with the Great Danes field hockey program.