Norton, Mass. – After 16 seasons as head women's basketball coach at Wheaton College, Melissa L. Hodgdon has announced her resignation from the position. A two-time New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball Coach of the Year, Hodgdon will depart Norton as the all-time wins leader in Wheaton women's basketball history with 214 victories.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to coach these women and all that came before them," said Hodgdon. "I have seen them grow as students, athletes, and people. They are amazing people who have made an impact on my life as well as the lives of many others in our community and beyond. Wheaton basketball is about being part of something bigger than yourself- past, present, and future. I love this team and know they are prepared for a championship in the near future. Go Lyons!"
Arriving in 2003 after a successful tenure as the top assistant at the College of the Holy Cross, Hodgdon made an immediate impact, as the Lyons improved its win total in each of her first five seasons. In 2008, she led the team to a 22-7 record en route to capturing the NEWMAC regular season and tournament championship and advancing to the programs first NCAA tournament since 1995. The Lyons returned to the NEWMAC title game the following season, and again in 2015, with the 2014-15 team capturing a second consecutive 20-win season for the first time since the 1993-94 and 1994-95.
"I want to thank Melissa for her dedication to our women's basketball program and to Wheaton, over the past 16 years," stated Director of Athletics & Recreation, John Sutyak '00. "In her time in Norton, Melissa has mentored numerous women who have been tremendous students, leaders, athletes, and most importantly, people. She has been instrumental in our women's basketball program giving back countless hours of their time to the local community and growing the game of basketball with local girls in the greater Norton community. I want to wish her the best as she moves on to the next chapter in her career."
A native of East Boothbay, Maine, Hodgdon had eight different student-athletes earn 14 all-NEWMAC honors under her guidance, including one athlete of the year and one rookie of the year, and three women earn All-New England accolades five times. During her time at the helm, five student-athletes have broken the 1,000-point milestone, including Abby Brickley '15 and Krystin Hickey '09, who are the two top scorers in Wheaton women's basketball history. In addition to the NCAA tournament appearance, Hodgdon led Wheaton to two ECAC Tournaments, including the 2007 championship game.
Off the court, women's basketball has repeatedly had one of the top GPAs in the department, as the team regularly holds a GPA over 3.10, including an impressive 3.61 GPA in the spring of 2018. In Hodgdon's tenure, one student-athlete, Kenzie Kuhn '15, was named academic all-district two times and earned a Fulbright scholarship to Sweden. All told, 12 student-athletes have attained academic all-conference honors 25 times.
Additionally, the team has been a leader in the department, and the College, in its community service initiatives. Women's basketball was 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, one of three separate times women's basketball has earned that honor. 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 from Wheaton College in the spring of 2014 for Outstanding Service.
A national search for the next women's basketball coach will begin shortly.