It is with great pride that we announce the addition of Dana Heritage to our coaching staff. Dana brings an unparalleled background as a dual-sport college athlete and a dual-sport college coach. Dana comes from a high academic background as both a player at Middlebury College and a coach at Babson College, where she got her MBA. Dana will help us expand into field hockey and women’s lacrosse, and fulfill our mission of helping families successfully navigate the college recruiting process.
Dana grew up as the middle sister between two brothers and sports were the instant bond that brought the three together. Her parents encouraged her to participate in all types of activities, and while some worked out better than others, they urged her to try it all. Founding both the girls youth lacrosse and field hockey programs in her hometown of Cheshire, Connecticut, Dana’s Mother felt adamantly about the importance of the local feeder programs for girls. They built strong youth teams that fed into high-achieving high school teams. In her junior year, Dana developed into one of the best lacrosse and field hockey players in the state of Connecticut. A junior All-American she set the new high school record for the most goals in a single season at 81. At this point in her high school career, Dana was focusing more on her lacrosse. She joined a competitive club team and spent many weekends traveling up and down the east coast to gain exposure at as many tournaments possible. Like her older brother who playing lacrosse at Dartmouth at the time, Dana believed that lacrosse was her ticket to one of the best academic institutions as well.
That summer between her junior and senior year when Dana was in the thick of the recruiting circuit, she attended an elite lacrosse camp. After that camp she was contacted by many Division 1 and 3 college coaches. With her heart set on Division 1 lacrosse, Dana did not spend much time considering Division 3. But, when Dana returned to field hockey in the fall, a sport that she had always loved as well, her pathway to college shifted. She realized how much she loved playing field hockey and how difficult it would be to give that up to only play lacrosse in college. She began to consider Division 3 schools with a different outlook and curiosity. Her Father had coached football at Wesleyan and she grew up hearing about the NESCAC and its unique balance of high academics and athletics. So when Middlebury’s legendary Head Coach, Missy Foote began recruiting her, she listened with more intensity. She began to think that Middlebury offered the full package – the ability to play two sports that consistently competed for National Championships and while pursuing an excellent liberal art education. The first time that Dana and her Mom drove up to Middlebury she jokes that they both thought they were lost because of its remote location. Yet once they were there, Dana had that gut feeling in her that everyone talks about. The overall vibe just felt right.
Fortunately that gut feeling panned out and Dana experienced a fulfilling career on and off the field at Middlebury. Between field hockey and lacrosse, she and her teammates made 7 NCAA tournaments, reached two Final Fours, and competed in one National Championship game. She began her career in lacrosse as the Rookie of the Year and ended it as a Second-Team All-American. She credits her coaches and teammates for her successes and still considers many of them to be her closest friends. After graduation in 2010 with a degree in Psychology, Dana worked for a small clothing start-up.
In the summer of 2013, Dana’s athletics network continued to pay it forward when she landed the Assistant Field Hockey and Women’s Lacrosse coaching position at Babson College. At Babson, she grew a passion for player development. She spent many hours recruiting and working, educating, and communicating with student athletes and their families to ensure that Babson was the best fit academically and athletically. She is excited to continue this love for advising and mentoring through her new role with the Recruiting Coaches.
Coaching families through the college recruiting process.More posts by TRC