Bronwen Gainsford To Lead Belmont Abbey College’s Field Hockey Team That Will Begin Play Next Fall
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Belmont Abbey College Director of Athletics Stephen Miss has announced the College will add an intercollegiate Field Hockey program that will begin play in the fall of 2016, and the subsequent hiring of Bronwen Gainsford to lead the program as the inaugural head coach.
A fall season sport for women, Field Hockey will become the College’s 25th team and will make its debut in August.
"We are thrilled to announce formally the addition of Field Hockey as a program at Belmont Abbey College and the hire of Bronwen Gainsford as our first Head Coach," Miss said. "Adding Field Hockey certainly will bolster our continued growth as a department and will further enable us to extend the opportunity that is an Abbey educational experience to those who participate in the sport. Due to the combination of her tremendous enthusiasm for growing her sport and her impressive expertise in teaching the fundamentals of the game of field hockey, we believe Coach Gainsford is the ideal person to lead us as we embark on this journey. Most importantly, Bronwen is well-equipped to embrace the challenge of facilitating the formation and development of our students into well-rounded, whole persons capable of becoming a blessing to themselves and to others."
Gainsford comes to Belmont Abbey from USA Field Hockey, where she was the Region 8 Development and Fundamental Field Hockey Manager since October. In this role, she represented USA Field Hockey’s programs in the Region, provided overall support for all field hockey constituencies in the region, provided advice, support and opportunities to athletes, coaches, umpires and volunteers, maintained database of all field hockey contacts in region and organized, marketed and led all aspects of the USA Field Hockey Futures program.
“I would like to thank President, Dr. Thierfelder and Athletic Director, Stephen Miss for the exciting opportunity to develop a field hockey team at Belmont Abbey College,” Gainsford said. “I am most looking forward to working at an institution that values the development of spirit, body and soul in all students and joining the Belmont Abbey community.”
From April to September of this year, she was the USA Sport Development coordinator before her elevation to the Region 8 Developmental position.
Prior to her roles with USA Field Hockey, Gainsford was an affiliate Field Hockey Coach at James Madison University for one season, where she worked with the goalkeepers and recruiting.
Her previous coaching stop came at Smith College (fall 2012 - summer 2014). She also assisted Smith's women's tennis program for the 2014 season. In winter 2013, Gainsford assumed the role of site director of Futures Field Hockey. She managed over 58 field players and five coaches, organizing and implementing plans directed by USA Field Hockey. Prior to the role, she was the director of goalkeepers and the under-19 coach of NOMADS field hockey from winter 2012 to winter 2013.
As a player, Gainsford was a goalkeeper at Wake Forest in 2010 and 2011. She played her freshman (2008) and sophomore (2009) seasons at Catawba College where she began as a defender/midfielder before moving to the goalkeeper position. In 2009, she led all NCAA Division II goalies in saves per game. She served as the team captain and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Gainsford earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication from Wake Forest in 2012 and her Master of Science in exercise and sports studies from Smith College in 2014. She holds a Level II U.S. Field Hockey coaching certification.