Assistant Lacrosse Coach Dorrien Van Dyke Takes on Alma Mater
Written By Connor Smith, SDA Media Relations
When Arizona State and Stony Brook matchup at LaValle Stadium on Friday at 3 PM MST, it will represent another reunion for a member of the Sun Devil Lacrosse coaching staff.
Assistant Coach Dorrien Van Dyke played for Stony Brook Head Coach Joe Spallina from 2014-17, leaving as one of the most decorated players in program history. The duo spent four years together taking the Seawolves' program to new heights, with Van Dyke emerging as an All-American midfielder and serving as an integral piece of the program.
"We love Dor (Dorrien Van Dyke). She is a big part of the success of this program," Coach Spallina reflected. "She is a legend and on the Mount Rushmore of players that have worn our jersey as far as I am concerned."
That is high praise considering the tradition and success of the Stony Brook program, but it is undeniable when looking at Van Dyke's collegiate resume. She finished her illustrious career near the top of the program record book, sitting second in goals (197), sixth in assists (71), third in points (268), and fourth in draw controls (179). The 2017 Tewaaraton Award Nominee enjoyed a breakout senior season that saw her earn IWLCA All-American recognition and a spot on the Division I Senior All-Star team after her second-consecutive 70-point season. The accolades don't end there, as Van Dyke was a three-time IWLCA First Team Mid-Atlantic All-Region Selection.
The Seawolves won the America East Conference Championship and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament all four season that Van Dyke was a part of the program. She made her impact felt the minute she stepped on campus, as the four-time First Team All-Conference member was the only freshman selected to the 2014 American East All-Conference squad after leading all Division I freshman with 68 points. She came up big when her team needed her the most, earning a spot on the America East All-Championship Team in both 2016 & 2017. She still holds the Seawolves' program record for goals in an NCAA Tournament game, coming through with seven goals in a first-round victory over Bryant. Her performance sparked a postseason run, with Stony Brook falling to eventual national champion Maryland by one goal in a back-and-forth quarterfinal matchup.
Known as a tremendous leader, Van Dyke earned the trust of her teammates and coaches resulting in her twice being named a team captain. Additionally, she was selected by the Athletic Director to be a part of the Stony Brook Academy of Leaders as well as representing female student-athletes as a member of the Intercollegiate Athletics Board.
"Dor is a world-class person," Coach Spallina remaked. "A former captain here that remains a very good friend. We continue to talk all the time."
Following her playing career, Van Dyke immediately went into coaching and had no trouble finding programs interested in her services. She began her coaching career at Monmouth in 2018, leading the Hawks to a share of the MAAC Regular Season Championship. She was then hired on to the defending national champion James Madison coaching staff in 2019, where she helped lead the Dukes to the 2019 CAA Regular Season and Conference Championship along with a berth in the NCAA Tournament. During these two stints as an assistant, she caught the eye of Sun Devil Head Coach Tim McCormack, who was already familiar with her work as a player.
"I remember quickly realizing Dor was a tremendous player and leader on the field," Coach McCormack observed. "It wasn't a surprise she transitioned so well into coaching. That is why I had to make her a part of my staff. Her energy, dedication, and attention to detail has been critical to our operation."
Van Dyke was hired on to the McCormack's initial staff in 2020, and along with fellow assistant Nicole Graziano, has elevated Sun Devil Lacrosse. This comes as no surprise to her former coach, who has a growing coaching tree filled with former players and assistant coaches moving on to prominent coaching roles.
"She is out at Arizona State now and I am super proud of her," Coach Spallina remarked. "She already is a great coach and she will continue to get better."
The sustained connection between Van Dyke and Spallina was a big reason why this game was scheduled, as Arizona State heads East in the middle of the conference season, part of Coach McCormack's scheduling philosophy of anywhere and anyone. The two programs will match up for the first time in history on Friday at 3 PM MST, but this will not be the first time Van Dyke and Spallina are meeting on opposite sidelines. The two met back in the 2019 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship First Round, when Van Dyke was an assistant at James Madison.
"For 60 minutes and three hours of time, she is on the other sideline," Coach Spallina added. "She is an enemy on Friday night and she knows that. This is no different than any other game. It is business."
Van Dyke's first return to LaValle Stadium, where she went 49-4 in her four years with the Seawolves, will take place Friday at 3 PM MST and will be broadcasted on ESPN +, with live stats provided here.
"It will be great for her to get to see some friends and visit her school," Coach McCormack mentioned. "She had such a huge impact on this program and it will be great for our team to see her get recognized. They are learning from two assistants that played the game at the highest level."