WASHINGTON - Georgetown University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed announced the promotion of Shannon Soares to associate athletics director for administration and varsity sports. Soares will step down from her position as head field hockey coach and transition to the newly-created administrative role on Jan. 1, 2018. A national search is currently underway for GU’s next field hockey head coach.
“I’m excited to announce Shannon as our newest associate athletics director,” said Reed. “Although the field hockey program will miss her, having someone with a coaching background on our administrative team will add valuable insight and perspective. Shannon’s mission has always been to educate her student-athletes both on and off of the playing field and I look forward to the contributions she will bring to our entire department.”
In her new role, Soares will supervise multiple sport programs, create programming to enhance Georgetown’s investment in the careers of head and assistant coaches, and work in alignment with the executive director of the Cooper Leadership Program to enhance the experience for all 700 Hoya student-athletes.
Soares led the Hoyas for four seasons, amassing 28 wins at the helm. This past season, she led the Hoyas to a 9-10 record marking the most wins since 2002. Under Soares, Georgetown has had four All-BIG EAST honorees including Aliyah Graves-Brown, who became the first Hoya in program history to be named to the All-BIG EAST First Team in 2015 and Anna Farley who was the first freshman to earn All-BIG EAST honors in program history in 2017. Over the past two seasons, her teams garnered 15 BIG EAST Weekly Awards including a program-record eight this past year.
Off the field, Georgetown was recognized with the 2015-16 BIG EAST Team Academic Excellence award for field hockey, given to the team with the highest collective grade-point average (GPA) in each conference sport, and Graves-Brown was also honored with the 2015-16 BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence award. On a national level, 55 players have earned a spot on the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Academic Squad and the team has been an NFHCA Division I National Academic Team Award winner all four seasons.
Soares began her head coaching career at Virginia Commonwealth University where she was the head coach for one season in 2012 after serving as the team's assistant coach for the previous five. She orchestrated the third-best single-season turnaround in the nation that season, leading the Rams to a 13-6 record after they were 5-11 in 2011. The 13 wins were the second-most in school history as VCU earned the program's first-ever berth in the Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Championship. A program-record six players also earned All-Atlantic 10 honors.
In the classroom, Soares' Rams posted the highest team GPA of all of VCU's 16 intercollegiate athletic programs. Eighteen of the 20 players on the roster earned a spot on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll (3.0 or higher). VCU earned NFHCA Collegiate National Team Academic Award honors while 14 players were named to the National Academic Squad.
Soares stepped down to join her husband at the University of Washington for the 2013-14 academic year where she was the assistant director of sport operations.
A native of Centreville, Virginia, Soares is a 2006 graduate of the College of William & Mary, earning a Bachelor of Arts in kinesiology while being a four-year letterwinner on the field hockey team. She appeared in 80 games in her career, while making 78 starts.
Soares earned a master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Louisville in 2007. She and her husband, Sean, currently reside in Centreville with their son, Carrick, and daughter, Scout.
"I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to Lee Reed for the opportunity to join his leadership team and take on this role,” said Soares. “The creation of this position is innovative and shows that we as a department and university value positive and healthy culture within collegiate athletics. I am looking forward to serving the hardworking and talented coaches within the department as we continue to work to create a high-quality experience for our student-athletes that prepares them for life well beyond sport."