The Bears women's lacrosse program is being elevated from club status and will compete at the Division III level in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).
Ness has been an assistant coach at Bowdoin the past two seasons. The Polar Bears posted a record of 23-11 in those two seasons and advanced all the way to the national quarterfinals in the 2013 Division III tournament.
"I'm honored and grateful to have the opportunity to lead the Coast Guard in its inaugural season as a varsity program and really look forward to building a successful program and having success in the NEWMAC. It's a great and pretty competitive conference, but one that we can certainly do well in," Ness said.
A native of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and a 2005 graduate of New England, Ness was the head women's lacrosse coach at Elms College in 2012 where she coached both the conference goalie and rookie of the Year and the team improved in 14 of 19 statistical categories from the previous season.
Prior to her time at Elms, Ness had assistant coaching stints at Smith, Messiah and New England.
From 2005-07, she was a school coaching officer at Marlborough College in Marlborough, England. There she coached the women's lacrosse, field hockey and track & field teams and served as a teacher in the physical education program.
"I'm pleased and privileged to announce the selection of Ruth Ness as the new women's lacrosse coach at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy," director of athletics Tim Fitzpatrick said. "As women's lacrosse becomes a varsity program for the first time this year at CGA , I am very confident that Ruth's combination of skill, coaching experience and recruiting expertise make her the perfect choice for this important position. It is evident that she is dedicated to the core values of the academy and understands the importance of providing our cadet-athletes with a top-notch experience. Her career in college lacrosse -- both as a player and a coach -- shows a demonstrated track record of achievement and success, and I know she will be a difference maker here at CGA."
While an undergraduate at New England, Ness was a decorated two-sport athlete. In lacrosse, she was a four-year starter and four-time All-Commonwealth Coast Conference selection. In field hockey, she helped to start the school's program as a junior and served as a captain in both her junior and senior campaigns. She was named UNE's Female Athlete of the Year in 2005.
"I was really impressed with the athletic department and the clear support that the Academy has for athletics and the direction that Tim Fitzpatrick is taking the department," Ness said. " I am looking forward to being a part of that and a member of the Coast Guard community.