Michele Dombrowski, a former NCAA All-American lacrosse and field hockey player, enters her 13th year as Sewanee's head women's lacrosse coach.
Under Dombrowski's leadership, the women's lacrosse team has won three conference titles and earned two NCAA Tournament berths, while recording a 138-72 overall record. In addition, her peers have named her SAA Coach of the Year three times (2013, 2015, 2019) and was selected as the West Region Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA).
In seven seasons of play in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), the program has gone 35-9 in conference regular season games, including two undefeated seasons (2013 and 2015). Including her 106 wins as the field hockey coach for SUNY Oneonta (1998-2005) and Sewanee (2011-15), she has totaled 244 wins in 22 seasons.
The 2019 season saw the Tigers in the semifinals of the SAA Tournament, posting a 12-7 record. The team finished second in the nation in caused turnovers per game (16.63) and seventh in ground balls per game (29.53). Finishing 35th in shooting percentage with a 48.4% mark and 16th in save percentage (53.0%), Dombrowski earned her third SAA Coach of the Year selection.
In 2018, she led the program back to the SAA Tournament semifinals en route to a 12-6 overall record. The team finished leading the conference in five statistical categories (assists per game, 7.56; caused turnovers per game, 17.0; groundballs per game, 29.33; saves percentage, .542; and scoring defense, 7.06). The program finished third nationally in caused turnovers and groundballs per game, and they were ranked 12th in all of Division III in saves percentage and scoring defense.
After a 7-11 record in 2016, the team bounced back in 2017, posting a 14-5 record and a 5-2 record inside conference play. The team finished as a semifinalist in the SAA Tournament, but the highlight of the season came in goal. Brianna Young, the SAA Defensive Player of the Year, led all NCAA Division III goalkeepers with a .613 save percentage out of 200 student-athletes.
The 2016 season saw Dombrowski earn her 100th career win in women's lax, defeating Berry, 11-6, in the SAA Quarterfinals on April 22.
Along with earning her second SAA Coach of the Year and her first Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association West Region Coach of the Year, Dombrowski led the Tigers to a 17-2 record in 2015.
During the season, Sewanee posted its best regular-season record in school history since 1963.
The Tigers also set the school's longest winning streak of 25 over a span of two seasons. The streak started on March 22, 2014, with a 23-3 win over Oglethorpe (Ga.), and lasted over a season until it came to an end in the SAA Championship on April 26, 2015, against Rhodes. Additionally, Sewanee made its first trip to the NCAA Tournament second-round while also receiving the program's first-ever at-large bid into the Big Dance.
During the 2015 season, the team was second in the nation in scoring. Sewanee also ranked nationally in scoring margin (10th), win percentage (second), and in draw controls (eighth). During the season, Sewanee also defeated previous unbeaten programs Rhodes and Piedmont.
In 2014, the Tigers, despite losing to Centre in the regular season, came back to defeat the Colonels in the SAA Tournament to win their second consecutive SAA Championship.
After Sewanee made the move to the Southern Athletic Association in 2013, the program went 13-7, but more importantly, the team swept conference play en route to its first-ever SAA Championship and NCAA Tournament selection in its sixth year of existence.
Dombrowski helped start the program in 2006, playing two seasons of club ball before becoming a varsity sport in 2008. From there, the team played three seasons as an independent before the Southern Collegiate Athletic Association (SCAC) added the sport in 2011. In two seasons, the program went 8-1 in conference play, and appeared in back-to-back SCAC Tournament Championships, winning the inaugural title in 2011.
Under Dombrowski's leadership, 20 players earned IWLCA All-Region honors while 29 student-athletes garnered All-SAA awards.
In total, she has coached two SAA Offensive Player of the Year winners, two SAA Defensive Player of the Year selections and an SAA Newcomer of the Year all since 2013.
From 2011-15, Dombrowski served as the head coach of the field hockey program. Continuing to serve as an assistant coach since 2016, she enters her ninth season with the program. In five seasons, Dombrowski recorded a 39-42 record with Sewanee.
In 2015, Dombrowski coached Sewanee's first-ever SAA Newcomer of the Year award winner. As a team, Sewanee had six players earn All-SAA honors. Additionally, three Tigers were named to the NFHCA All-Region Team.
In 2014, Sewanee ended its season with an 8-8 overall record. That tied the Tigers' win total in 2013. Both eight-win years were the best finish since Sewanee went 14-7 in 2008.
In 2012, Dombrowski led Sewanee to its highest wins total since the 2009 season. Additionally, five Tigers were named to the All-SAA team, while three student-athletes earned accolades on the All-Region squad.
Dombrowski was elected to the IWLCA Board of Directors as one of three representatives for NCAA Division III in 2017, and she has served on several committees within the coaches organization.
Dombrowski came to Sewanee from State University of New York, College at Oneonta, Oneonta, N.Y., where she served as head field hockey coach 1998-2006 and assistant women’s lacrosse coach from 1998-2003.
In 2003, while at Oneonta, Dombrowski was named National Field Hockey Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year and New York State Women’s Collegiate Athletics Association Field Hockey Coach of the Year. She was twice named SUNYAC Field Hockey Coach of the Year (2002, 2004)
Prior to her time at Oneonta, Dombrowski was assistant lacrosse and field hockey coach at Smith College in Northhampton, Mass.
Dombrowski attended Goucher College in Baltimore, Md. where she received a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Management and English. In 1998, she received her Master of Science degree in Exercise Sports and Sports Studies from Smith College.
As a lacrosse player at Goucher, Dombrowski was named USWLA and Brine/IWLCA First Team All-American in 1996 and that same year was selected to the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship All-Tournament Team. She currently ranks fifth all-time in career points scored.
In field hockey, Dombrowski was named College Field Hockey Association All-American, First-team in 1995 and Second-team in 1994. She was a three-time All-South Region First-team selection (1993,1994,1995). She is also the school record holder for points and goals in a career.
A GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American selection her senior year, Dombrowski was an NCAA Women’s Enhancement Scholarship recipient in 1996.
Coach Dombrowski lives in Sewanee with her husband, Joe, and daughters, Anja and Kira.
The Dombrowski File (as Women's Lacrosse Head Coach)
Year -- Overall W-L Record -- Conference W-L Record --Notes
|2011||Sewanee||13-5||.722||4-0||1.000||SCAC Regular Season and Tournament Champions|
|2012||Sewanee||11-6||.647||4-1||.800||SCAC Tournament Finalist|
|2013||Sewanee||13-7||.650||5-0||1.000||SAA Regular Season and Tournament Champions, NCAA Tournament|
|2014||Sewanee||13-6||.684||6-1||.857||SAA Tournament Champions|
|2015||Sewanee||17-2||.895||7-0||1.000||SAA Regular Season Champions, NCAA Tournament|
|Total||12 Seasons||138-72||.657||43-10||.811||3 Conference Championships
2 NCAA Appearances
The Dombrowski File (as Field Hockey Head Coach)
Year -- Overall W-L Record -- Conference W-L Record --Notes
|1998||SUNY Oneonta (D-III)||4-13||.235||1-3||.250|
|2003||SUNY Oneonta||15-8||.636||4-1||.800||First 10-plus win season since 1993|
|Total||8 Seasons at Oneonta||67-84||.444||19-20||.487|
|Total||5 Seasons at Sewanee||39-42||.481||15-23||.395|