Sarah Mathews begins her second season as the College's head coach for the women's basketball program.
The Eagles went 13-13 in her first season, routing Roanoke in the opening round of the ODAC postseason. Junior Briana Moore was named a first team Academic All-American, and made the All-ODAC squad. During Mathews' first season, the Eagles improved in many statistical categories including points, assists, steals, turnovers, attendance per game, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage.
Mathews comes to Bridgewater after three seasons as the head coach at Keuka College in Keuka Park, N.Y. This past season the Wolves finished the season with a 14-10 overall record. Keuka was 11-7 in conference play, good for a third-place finish in the North Eastern Athletic Conference North Division.
"We are excited to have Sarah as our head women's basketball coach," said Kendall. "Her positive energy, disciplined approach and high expectations are a great fit for the talented returners she will inherit. Her ability to connect with her players and recruits should pay dividends moving forward. As a recruiter, she has been a coach at all collegiate levels and has established many recruiting contacts throughout the east coast. We feel Sarah can continue the very successful legacy that both Jean Willi and her mentor, Laura Mapp, have established at Bridgewater College."
"I'm really excited about the opportunity to coach the women's basketball team at Bridgewater College. When I was there for my interview I thought the campus was just gorgeous and the Shenandoah Valley is a beautiful place," Mathews said. "I've heard so much about Bridgewater's strong academic reputation and it's a place where I believe you can win. Coach (Jean) Willi has certainly built a winning tradition and we will look to continue that tradition."
Fans and players can expect an up-tempo style of play. "It may not happen right away, but eventually we want to play at a quick pace. We will have a really positive culture in the program. If you come to a practice you will see a lot of high-fives and a lot of energy. We want to play fast, but we also want to still be taking quality shots and making good decisions," Mathews added.
The new coach will also expect the players to perform in the classroom. "While at Keuka we had a goal of a 3.0 team GPA and I will bring that goal to Bridgewater. I am very active in our study halls and in monitoring the players' academic progress. I want the players to be successful both on the court and in the classroom."
Mathews has worked at every college level during her coaching career.
Prior to taking the head coaching position at Division III Keuka, Mathews worked as an assistant coach for three seasons at Division II Eckerd College where she was involved in all aspects of the program.
Mathews also spent a year at the Division I level as the director of basketball operations at Elon University. The Phoenix posted a 20-13 record, at the time a program record for wins in a season. Mathews was also a camp and clinic coordinator during her year at Elon.
Mathews began her coaching career in the junior college ranks as an assistant at Guilford Technical Community College during the 2010-11 season. The Titans finished with a 29-3 record and won the Region X championship.
During her playing career, Mathews was a standout at Mohawk Valley Community College where she was named a 2006 National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) first-team All-American and a 2006 NJCAA Academic All-American.
After receiving her associates of science degree in general studies, Mathews transferred to the University of North Carolina-Greensboro where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education. While at UNC-G, she served as a student manager for the women's basketball team and assisted with daily operations of the program, including assisting with scouting reports and film analysis.
Sarah resides in Bridgewater with her husband Bryan.