The women's golf team paid it's own way to get the spring semester started on the right foot.
The team used it's Christmas gift exchange money to buy supplies for animals in need.
The Pirates will play five tournaments and will attempt to win their third straight BIG EAST title.
The Pirates will add three talented newcomers to the roster for play beginning in the fall of 2016.
The Pirates' head coach nets the immense honor after back-to-back BIG EAST titles.
** 2015 BIG EAST COACH OF THE YEAR **
** 2014 BIG EAST COACH OF THE YEAR **
Sara Doell is entering in her sixth year as the head coach of Seton Hall's women's golf program. She was named the first head coach in the new program's history on March 26, 2010.
Last year, Doell's Pirates became the first Seton Hall program to repeat as BIG EAST champions with a thrilling one-stroke victory in the 2015 BIG EAST Conference Championship, thus earning its second straight trip to the NCAA Regionals. In a banner year, the Pirates won a program-record four tournaments, and two golfers, Erin McClure and Cassie Pantelas claimed individual titles. McClure and Ali Kruse were named to the All-BIG EAST Tournament Team for a second straight year, and Doell was again named BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
Just four years after the program's inception, Doell led Seton Hall to its first BIG EAST Championship in 2014. The Pirates won the new-look BIG EAST field by seven strokes to claim the conference title and earn the team's first-ever trip to the NCAA Regionals. Earlier in the year, Seton Hall also claimed the team title at the Sacred Heart Fall Classic and tallied six additional top-five finishes. For her efforts, Doell was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
The Pirates continued their climb to national prominence in 2012-13. Seton Hall shaved more than seven strokes per round off their prior year's average, shooting at a 305.86 clip. All nine tournaments in 2012-13 were top-10 finishes, with eight placements in the top-five. Doell's Pirates took home their second team championship with a seven-stroke victory at the Rutgers Invitational, Oct. 5-6. The Pirates' success could have been compounded with a few lucky bounces as they also finished second, three times by just one stroke.
In 2011-12, the program took a major step forward. For the 2011-12 academic year, Seton Hall's team stroke average per round was 313.15, an improvement of more than 27 strokes over its 2010-11 average. The Pirates were an average of 67.80 strokes over par per tournament last year, compared to 161.50 in their inaugural campaign. Furthermore, after just one top-10 finish in tournaments with fields larger than 10 teams in their first year, the Pirates had eight top-10 finishes in 2011-12, and their only other two tournaments had eight-team fields, of which they finished in second and fourth place respectively.
In only the 15th tournament since the program's inception, Doell's hard work paid off when the Pirates took home their first tournament team championship, an impressive 32-stroke victory at the Homewood Suites Siena Invitational.
That year also provided Doell's first individual tournament champion when Hannah Basalone earned a playoff victory at the Lehigh University Invitational. Basalone also became the first Seton Hall women's golfer to be named to the All-BIG EAST Team.
Doell came to Seton Hall with a wealth of golf knowledge, having spent the prior four and a half years as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Penn State.
Before her work as an assistant coach with the Nittany Lions, Doell spent more than four years as an assistant golf professional at Ballantyne Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was the professional liaison for the women's golf league and the lead instructor of the junior golf program.
Doell graduated from Penn State University in 2000 with a degree in Media Studies, focusing on the portrayals of women in sports media. On scholarship from 1996-2000, Doell left a lasting impression on the Nittany Lion golf program as she had more than 10 top-10 finishes. A team captain for the Lions from 1999-200, she won the Women's Golf Academic and Athletic Achievement award, the Mary Kennedy-Zierke award and the Penn State Spiritus Lionus Academic Leadership Award. The Kennedy-Zierke award is given annually to the student-athlete who provides outstanding leadership and dedication as a varsity golfer.
In 1998, she was the New York State Amateur Champion. Doell also became the Women's Rochester District Amateur Champion in both 1997 and 2000. She carded her first hole-in-one on March 28th, 2005 at Waterford Golf Club in Rock Hill, S.C.
With competitive playing, teaching and coaching experience, Doell has developed a coaching style that matches her core values. "I value hard work, balance, mindfulness and positive energy. I believe that my role as a coach is to integrate those values into my coaching. It is important to give each individual athlete the tools she needs to improve her skills and approach to the game. Practices will be designed to help each player work on her individual needs while helping the team as a whole. We will focus on short game, course management and target awareness. I also stress the importance of staying with the process instead of being so focused on outcome. I am a strong believer in positive energy and how it directly correlates to success. I can guarantee you one thing - the team will have fun in the process!"
A Class A Teaching Member of the LPGA, Doell currently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. with her wife Cat.