Babson Magazine

Summer 2019

Small Talk with Julie Ryan

Since coming to Babson 13 years ago, head women’s field hockey coach Julie Ryan has led the College to 168 victories, garnered seven regular season league titles, and brought the 2016 team to the Final Four in Division III, the first women’s program in Babson’s history to do so. She has been named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Coach of the Year six times. This summer, Ryan is recruiting new players and revving up for the 2019–2020 season.

Julie Ryan

Julie Ryan
Photo: Pat Piasecki

Why was Babson a good fit for you after coaching Division I at Yale and Boston College?
There is a lot of pressure on the student-athletes at the Division I level. Over the last 12 years, I’ve lived the Division III experience, and I truly believe it gives the students the best opportunity to do more than play their sport. They have an incredible amount of balance in their lives, which is an important life skill.

You have an impressive history as an athlete; what was it about coaching that appealed to you?
I think the skills and the experience that collegiate athletics provided were something that I couldn’t imagine not having in my life. When I realized that the opportunity to coach was something viable and realistic for me, I jumped at it. I honestly couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

How does your job as an athletic coach fit into students’ lives at Babson, and beyond?
Our role as coaches is to make sure that we are allowing an opportunity for growth, and to make sure students are prepared for life’s challenges when they leave here. I think Babson does a great job of that academically, but to reinforce that through athletics sets this experience so high on the bar.

You stay in touch with many of the students you’ve coached. Why are these relationships important?
One of my favorite nights of the year is when I invite all the alums I’ve coached to my house for dinner with the team. They tell stories and connect with the current team, which gives them an opportunity to hear about the legacy they’re leaving and truly embrace the experience. I love being part of their growth at Babson, but I am most proud of the impact they make when they leave here. – Jeannine Stein