The U.S. Women’s National Team captain will join the Demon Deacons as an assistant coach.
May 15, 2018
By Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeHockey)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Former University of Connecticut field hockey standout and current U.S. Women’s National Team captain Melissa Gonzalez will join the Wake Forest field hockey program as an assistant coach, head coach Jennifer Averill announced Tuesday (May 15).
“Wake Forest is truly honored to welcome Melissa Gonzalez, U.S. Olympian, to our athletic department and hockey family,” Averill said. “Her passion and dedication to our sport is extraordinary, as is her intrinsic and uncompromising work ethic. Coupled with her infectious and fun-loving spirit, Melissa will add exceptional value to our talented squad and department.”
Gonzalez racked up numerous accolades as a player. An accomplished high school soccer player, she switched to field hockey at the University of Connecticut. With the Huskies, Gonzalez took home two Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards. She was also a two-time NFHCA First Team All-American and a third team selection.
In her final three seasons, Gonzalez earned All-Big East First Team honors in addition to a spot on the All-Big East Second Team as a freshman. In 2007, Gonzalez was named to the NCAA All-Final Four Team in her first collegiate season.
Since her college career ended in 2010, Gonzalez has spent the past eight years with the U.S. Women’s National Team. One year after joining the squad, Gonzalez helped lead Team USA to a gold medal in the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico. In 2012, Gonzalez competed with the team in the London Olympics.
Gonzalez and Team USA took home a Gold Medal in the 2014 Champions Challenge in Scotland before adding her second gold at the Pan American Games in 2015 in Toronto. In 2016, she competed in the Olympic Games in Rio, helping the team to a fifth-place finish.
On the coaching side, Gonzalez served as a volunteer assistant with Connecticut in 2011 and Yale in 2012.
Gonzalez is replacing former Wake Forest assistant Jamie Montgomery, who accepted the head coaching position at Richmond.
“I’m extremely honored to be joining the Demon Deacon family and field hockey program,” Gonzalez said. “I’m excited to learn and work alongside world class coaches who have created a rich history of success within the ACC and NCAA. I also look forward to building a bond with each student-athlete to help them develop both on and off the pitch. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity. "
The Demon Deacons open the 2018 season on Aug. 25 against Iowa in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.