The Catholic University of America Associate Vice President & Athletic Director Sean Sullivan has announced the promotion of Heidi Lewis to field hockey head coach, effective on June 1, 2016.
Lewis has spent the past three seasons as an assistant for longtime coach Gia Cillizza, who retired in late March. In Lewis' three seasons on campus, the Cardinals have captured two Landmark Conference Championships, two conference Coaching Staff of the Year awards, three NCAA Tournament berths and two trips to the NCAA Elite 8.
"We are thrilled to welcome Heidi Lewis into our stable of excellent Cardinal head coaches. As an influential assistant with the program during a period of highly successful years, she brings an immediate understanding of the team's culture, relational dynamics, and competitive aspirations now to the head coaching role," said Sullivan. "I couldn't be more excited to see someone so worthy take the reins."
As an assistant with Catholic, Lewis served as the goalkeeper coach, showing the way for two outstanding players. She coached Meg Comunale '14 to an All-America season in 2013 as she won the NCAA Statistical Champion award for the lowest goals against average for any goalkeeper in the nation. The past two seasons, Analisa Scott has been an All-Landmark First Teamer, Conference Tournament MVP and All-Region selection last year. Lewis' goalkeeping units have continually ranked in the top-10 nationally in goals against average and save percentage.
"I have seen so much growth in this program over the past three seasons, and I know we still have an incredible amount of untapped potential. I'm looking forward to helping these amazing women reach past their boundaries and to new heights," said Lewis. "I'm so grateful to Sean Sullivan and the hiring committee for entrusting me with the hockey program, and for Gia Cillizza for bringing me into the hockey family three years ago.
"Catholic field hockey has felt like home since day one. I feel honored to take over a program who's tradition, culture, and family I've come to know and love over the past three seasons as an assistant coach."
Prior to Catholic, Lewis served crosstown as a volunteer coach at American University, where she worked closely with the team's goalkeeping coach, forwards and midfielders. Before her stint as an assistant, Lewis served as the head coach of AU's club team for five years, taking the program to the National Field Hockey League Championship Tournament in 2009 and 2010.
Lewis graduated magna cum laude from American University's honors program with a degree in international studies in 2006. Athletically, she was a four-year starter with the Eagles, earning numerous accolades including: Patriot League nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year, ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America First Team and Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2006. She also made the NFHCA All-Academic team four times from 2003-06.
Lewis has worked as a head and assistant coach with Southeast Storm Club and Freedom Hockey Club in Maryland. She is heavily involved with U.S. Field Hockey as a site director and coach for the Futures Development Program and High Performance Program. She also directed the Revolution Field Hockey Camp at Catholic in 2014.
"Catholic University Field Hockey has a storied tradition of on the field success, achievement in the classroom, and of having a positive impact in our community," said Sullivan. "Coach Lewis will undoubtedly work to maintain such standards. Her keen strategic eye, excellent teaching skills, and years of coaching at multiple levels make her exceedingly well prepared for this new challenge."
The Davis, Calif., native remains an active member of the D.C. Dragons club team. Lewis has a Level 2 USAFH coaching certificate. She has also been a part of USAFH National Coaching Forum in 2012, 2014 and 2015 and is a member of the Alliance of Women Coaches.
Lewis and her husband, Bryan, reside in Kensington, Md. Lewis also boasts a M.Ed. in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership: Coaching, from the University of Washington '16 as well as M.A. in International Affairs: U.S. Foreign Policy from American University '08.