Katie DeSandis, a three-time All-Ivy League performer for the Lions from 2009-13, re-joined alma mater in April 2017 after one year on the Hofstra coaching staff.
"I am extremely excited to welcome Katie back to the Columbia field hockey family,” said Nelson Nichols. “As a player, Katie was truly dynamic and pushed this program to be better. I know she will bring the same qualities to our program as a coach. Katie understands what it takes to be successful at Columbia as a student and an athlete and I think this understanding will help us continue to drive this program forward."
Prior to her year with the Pride, DeSandis had coaching positions at the University of New England and with the Maine Styx, a club squad in Portland.
DeSandis was a National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-Mideast Region second team selection, earned All-Ivy League first team accolades and served as the Lions' team captain as a senior. DeSandis also was named to the All-Ivy second team as a junior and was an All-Ivy honorable mention as a first-year. She recorded 11 goals, 12 assists and 10 defensive saves in 67 games during her college career.
In the classroom, DeSandis was an Academic All-Ivy selection in 2012-13, a four-time Dean's List student and received the Libby Horowitz Scholarship from 2011-13. Additionally at Columbia, DeSandis was the co-founder of an Alternative Break Program, directing the pilot program from 2010-13. She also was a co-founding member of the Student Wellness Program and was a graduate of the Leaders for Life program from 2011-13.
DeSandis, who is a graduate of field hockey powerhouse Emmaus (Pennsylvania) High School, also has an outstanding scholastic and United States Field Hockey Association (USFHA) playing history. At Emmaus, she was a member of two Pennsylvania State title squads and two Top of the Circle National Championship teams. Her teams posted a 96-4 mark during her tenure. DeSandis was also a two-time all-state selection, team captain and most valuable player.
Following graduation from Columbia with a bachelor's degree in anthropology, DeSandis became a corp member of Teach for America (TFA), where she was chosen from 42,000 applicants to teach in under-resourced public schools in Nashville, Tennessee. While pursuing a master's degree in instructional practice at Lipscomb University, she taught biology at Glencliff Comprehensive High School in Nashville from 2013 to 2015 and served as assistant women's basketball coach during the 2014-15 season. DeSandis received her master's degree from Lipscomb in December 2014.