Having won a national title as a student-athlete at the University of Maryland and posted a record-breaking tenure as an assistant at Saint Joseph’s University, Colleen Dawson was selected as the William & Mary head lacrosse coach in August.
“William & Mary coaches must demonstrate an understanding that their role is to teach, mentor, and inspire the student-athletes in their charge. Our coaches have to keep as top priority the well-being and holistic education of our students,” said Huge at the time of her hiring. “Colleen is exactly who we need to lead our lacrosse program. She won a national title at the highest level of the sport as a student-athlete and has coached at institutions with high academics and strong values. We are so excited to see her lead and guide our student-athletes."
Dawson was instrumental in the Hawks’ success during her five seasons as an assistant, as SJU broke single-season school records for wins in back-to-back seasons (2017, 2018). Additionally, the program advanced to the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament each of the last four seasons.
A number of Hawks also benefited from Dawson’s tutelage, as the squad produced the A-10 Offensive Player of the Year (2019) and the A-10 Rookie of the Year (2016). Additionally, the Hawks garnered 13 all-conference accolades, 10 A-10 All-Rookie Team selections and eight A-10 All-Academic Team honorees.
En route to registering double-digit win totals during each of the last three seasons at SJU, Dawson’s tenure with the Hawks was highlighted by a 2018 campaign that saw the team set a school record with 12 wins, including a 7-2 mark in conference play. Additionally, the 2019 squad etched its name in program’s record book by breaking single-season school records for points (412), goals (265) and assists (147).
While Dawson assisted in all facets of the program at SJU, her primary responsibilities were coaching the draw control specialists and offensive unit.
Dawson joined the Hawks after spending two years as the director of lacrosse operations at Loyola University of Maryland in Baltimore, where she was primarily responsible for running day-to-day operations of the program, including but not limited to film breakdown, travel, and meals, and fundraising.
Dawson was a member of the Maryland women's lacrosse program from 2008-11, helping the Terrapins to three consecutive ACC Championships and the 2010 NCAA Championship. The scholar-athlete also excelled in the classroom, where she earned ACC Student-Athlete Honor Roll recognition and was a member of the Leadership Group.
Following her collegiate career, Dawson spent a year abroad working with and coaching youth lacrosse programs in Australia. She coached the Footscray U-17 Team to the 2012 Premiership title and led all scorers on the 2012 Footscray State League Team.
Dawson is a product of West Chester East High School, where she was a 2007 All-American, the All-Chester County Female Athlete of the Year, and an All-Conference and All-Area First Team selection.
Dawson earned a bachelor's of science degree in kinesiology from the University of Maryland in May 2011 and an M.S. in Organization Development and Leadership from Saint Joseph's University in May 2018.