Hanson joins the Cardinal after four seasons as the Dartmouth head coach where she elevated the program to new levels of success and claimed the winningest seasons in the school’s past decade.
“Rachel’s energy, knowledge and passion for developing student-athletes and softball will be a great addition to our program,” Muir said. “She’s shown a commitment to developing excellence on the field and in the classroom with her students. She’s a rising star and we look forward to her future accomplishments with our softball team.”
Hanson is coming off a successful 2014 season in which she led the Big Green to its first Ivy League championship with an 18-2 conference record. She guided her team to a 31-19 overall mark and a trip to the NCAA Tempe Regional. The 18 conference victories are the most in Dartmouth history and the 31 wins overall ranks second all time.
“Stanford Athletics has such a rich history of success and I’m excited to build upon that with our current and future student-athletes," Hanson said. "What stands out clearly to me is the devotion Stanford has to developing true student-athletes -- leaders of championship caliber on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
“This department is committed to excellence in every aspect and I’m excited to move forward with that same mentality.”
Under Hanson’s leadership, Dartmouth student-athletes garnered a variety of individual honors including the 2014 Ivy League Player of the Year, 2013 Rookie of the Year, the 2013 and 2014 Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, NFCA All-Region honors, Ivy League first- and second-team selections and Ivy League All-Academic recognition.
Prior to leading the Big Green, Hanson coached Dallas for five seasons and set a program record of 80 wins. In 2009, she led the Crusaders to a program-best 20 victories and top-20 rankings in team scoring, doubles and triples.
“Rachel is a great fit because she knows how to work with the student-athlete and relate to the uniqueness of the Stanford student-athlete,” said former Stanford four-time All-American, ESPN broadcaster and Hall of Fame member Jessica Mendoza. “She’s able to bring out the best of the players and represent the university in the best way possible. The great thing about Stanford is that it’s 'student' before 'athlete' and Rachel gets that.”
A 2005 graduate of Trinity (Texas) with a degree in political science, Hanson was a three-time all-conference selection and captained her team to a conference championship in her senior year. She was a force in the classroom, as well, earning academic all-conference honors and receiving recognition on the Dean’s List.
“Rachel is an outstanding leader and softball coach who will be a great fit for Stanford University,” said 11-time national champion and Hall of Fame coach Sue Enquist. “Rachel has built a reputation of developing student-athletes who thrive under pressure in the classroom and on the softball field. The future is bright for Stanford softball.”
Hanson joins a Stanford team that is coming off its 18th consecutive winning season with a 30-25 overall record. The Cardinal will look to build on this past season successes as it returns a strong foundation for the 2015 season, including all 10 starters.