2016 NSCAA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year | 2016 NEWMAC Coach of the Year
Steph Schafer, who touts four winning seasons and four NEWMAC tournament appearances, brings a 45-21-12 (.654) record into her fifth campaign at the helm of the Engineers in 2017.
The Crimson and Gray are coming off a banner year which featured a number of program firsts cluminating with their first NEWMAC Championship, NCAA tournament appearance and NSCAA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year honors. The 16-2-3 club boasted the best single-season winning percentage (.833) while being the first to host any round of the conference tournament, as well as the semifinals and finals following a 8-1-1 conference schedule. The Engineers traveled to Geneva, NY and played a double overtime draw with Trinity (CT), who advanced via penalty kicks.
Individually, Gabi Hoops was named as the first-ever NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Year while Kristen McCrea was tabbed as the second in program history to garner NEWMAC Rookie of the Year honors and Schafer was selected by her peers as the NEWMAC Coach of the Year. Susannah Gray joined McCrea on the All-NEWMAC first team.
The 2015 season (11-5-3, 5-3-2 NEWMAC) was successful on the field and off with Emily Doherty racking up a number of All-America honors, including a pair of academic accolades from CoSIDA and the NSCAA. The team also bested Springfield for the first time in program history. Doherty was an All-NEWMAC first teamer while Gray was a second team honoree for the second consective year.
In 2014, the team went 8-7-4 overall, with a conference record of 5-2-3 making it to the NEWMAC quarterfinals for the second year in-a-row. With the success of 2014 campaign the team posted back-to-back winning seasons for only the third time in program history and first time since 2003-04.
In her first season at WPI, Schafer posted a 10-7-2 record (4-5-1 NEWMAC) which qualified the Crimson and Gray for the NEWMAC tournament for the first time since 2010. Megan Forti was the lone WPI All-NEWMAC representative with a first team nod.
Prior to Schafer coming to WPI she was the top assistant at Division I Wagner College. She was heavily involved with the Seahawks in designing and implementing practice and training sessions as well as in recruiting. Schafer also took an active role in academic monitoring, scheduling, team travel and fundraising. Prior to her time at Wagner, she spent three seasons as an assistant at Curry College where she helped the Colonels reached the CCC Tournament in 2008 and 2010.
Schafer also spent five seasons with the Boston Breakers serving as the Senior Team Coordinator, Equipment Manager, Team Manager and Director of Operations over those five seasons. Among her many duties, Schafer managed player personnel, coordinated practice and game schedules, organized team travel and oversaw the host family program that places 20+ athletes in rent-free housing.
A native of the Philadelphia area, Schafer played collegiately at Division I Temple University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in sports and recreation management with a minor in business. In 2013, she graduated from Wagner with her master's in secondary education with a social studies concentration.