Melissa L. Hodgdon begins her 13th season as head coach of the Wheaton College women’s basketball program in 2015-16.
Hodgdon joined Wheaton's athletic department as the head coach of the women's basketball program prior to the 2003-04 season. She led the Lyons to their first NCAA Tournament in 13 years during the winter of 2007-08, helping the team capture the program's initial New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season and tournament titles. Wheaton won a then school-record 12 conference games that year, and as a result, Hodgdon was named NEWMAC Coach of the Year. She guided Wheaton back to the title game the following year.
This past season, Wheaton finished the year with its sixth 20-win season in program history at 20-8 overall along with an appearance in the NEWMAC championship game. The Lyons wrapped up the year ranked No. 5 in the country in assists per game (18.1) and No. 12 overall in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.16). Wheaton also was nationally recognized by the NCAA and NADIIIAA/JOSTENS for its work with the "End the R Word" campaign.
In 2013-14, Hodgdon's squad topped the 07-08 conference record mark with a 14-6 NEWMAC record and 20-8 record overall. Wheaton began the season on a 12-game winning streak spanning from November 16 to January 7. The Lyons' streak during the 2013-14 season ranks second all-time in program history and also garnered the Blue and White a No. 22 ranking in the USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division III Top-25 poll, their first appearance in the poll since 1995. Similar to Wheaton's 2007-08 run, Hodgdon was awarded NEWMAC Coach of the Year laurels for the second time in her career for her efforts.
During each of Hodgdon's first five seasons, the Lyons improved upon their previous year's win total. In 2006-07, she coached the Lyons to their inaugural Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament championship game.
In addition to on-court success, Wheaton has compiled better than a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average as a team during nine of the last 11 campaigns. The Lyons were also awarded a certificate of appreciation for their work with the Heller's Angels Special Olympics Team in 2013 from Special Olympics Massachusetts. In the previous year, Wheaton won the NCAA Division III Spotlight Poll in December. The Lyons and the Heller's Angels story was also shared in the NCAA Division III Monthly Newsletter and on the NCAA Division III Special Olympics website in January, 2013. The women's basketball program also collected the SSSR Community Spirit Award at Wheaton's annual Athletic Awards presentation in 2010-11 and 2011-12. For her overall efforts in the community, Hodgdon was honored with a Presidents' Award in the spring of 2014 for Outstanding Service.
Prior to her arrival at Wheaton, Hodgdon served as the top assistant for the women's basketball program at the College of the Holy Cross for four seasons. During her stint, the Crusaders captured three Patriot League championships, advanced to the NCAA Division I Tournament three times (1999-2000, 2000-01, 2002-03), and the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) once (2001-02).
At Holy Cross, Hodgdon was responsible for all phases of recruiting while also playing an integral role in the program's scouting, court preparation and bench coaching. In all of her previous coaching engagements, Hodgdon saw every one of her recruited student-athletes successfully complete school. She has maintained that perfect graduation rate at Wheaton and has seen six of her players receive academic all-conference honors.
Hodgdon arrived at Holy Cross following two seasons as an assistant coach at Niagara University. Prior to Niagara, she spent two years as the top assistant at the University of New Hampshire. Hodgdon began her coaching career in 1991 at Framingham State College, where she served as an assistant for one year before taking over the head coaching reigns at Wentworth Institute of Technology for two seasons. In her second year at Wentworth, Hodgdon guided the Leopards to the most successful season in the program's nine years to that point.
In addition to her contributions to the collegiate varsity coaching circuit, Hodgdon has served in other capacities, including coaching recreational women's volleyball at New Hampshire in 1994 and working as the equipment and facilities manager at Wentworth. While working at Framingham State and Wentworth, she was also employed at Newton Country Day School from 1991-93.
Hodgdon is a 1991 graduate of Springfield College, where she earned a bachelor's degree in health education with a minor in psychology. She later received a master's degree in school counseling from Niagara. A native of East Boothbay, Maine, she was a standout women's basketball player for four years at Springfield. Named team MVP and captain twice, Hodgdon still holds the school's single-game assists record. Hodgdon is currently in her last term as the NEWMAC's captain for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and also holds positions on the WBCA focus group for all NCAA Divisions and the conference planning committee.
|2006-07||19-11||9-4||ECAC Tournament, NEWMAC Tournament|
|2007-08||22-7||12-1||NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions|
|2013-14||20-8||14-6||ECAC Tournament, NEWMAC Tournament|
Kelsey Simonds enters her second season as an assistant coach with the Wheaton women's basketball program in 2015-16. Prior to coaching with the Lyons, Simonds aided the Suffolk University women's basketball program to a 75-39 (.656) record from 2010-14, which included four Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament appearances and three trips to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament as an assistant coach. In 2012-13, the Rams went 23-8 overall establishing a new program record for wins and advanced to the GNAC Championship.
As a student-athlete, Simonds starred at nearby NCAA Division II Stonehill College earning three All-America honorable mention honors ('08, '09, '10), three NCAA Regional All-Tournament team selections and three appearances on the Northeast-10 (NE-10) All-Conference first team list. Simonds, who was a three-time captain, helped the Skyhawks to four NCAA appearances including one trip to the NCAA East Regional Finals and four semifinal appearances. Overall, Stonehill posted an 97-31 (.758) record never losing more than ten games in any season during that span.
In addition to those accolades, Simonds was named the NE-10 Freshmen of the Year in 2005-06, the Stonehill College Female Athlete of the Year in 2010, earned several Athletic Academic Honor Roll and Dean's List selections and currently ranks sixth all-time in career points (1,686), seventh in field goals made (614), fourth in field goal percentage (.504), seventh in free throws made (427), fifth in free throw percentage (.800), eighth in rebounds (695) and first overall in blocked shots (252).
Simonds, a Bridgewater, Mass. native, earned her bachelor of arts in graphic design with a minor in education from Stonehill in 2010 and currently works as a marketing associate in the Greater Boston area.
Heather Sargent begins her third season as an assistant coach for the Wheaton College women’s basketball program in 2015-16.
Sargent joined the staff with several years of experience in the high school and collegiate coaching ranks. Sargent had previously been an assistant coach for the Roger Williams University women's lacrosse program in addition to being the the strength and conditioning coach for the softball teams at both Mount Ida College and Framingham State University.
As a high school coach, Sargent led the Taunton High School softball varsity team to the Massachusetts State Championship in 2007.
Sargent received her bachelor's degree in communication studies from Merrimack College in 2003. Sargent also was certified as a personal trainer through the North American Bodybuilding Federation (NABF) in 2006. A two-sport student-athlete at Merrimack in soccer and softball, Sargent was a member of the Warriors' softball team that captured three Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) regular season championships, two NE-10 Tournament crowns and made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament.