Field Hockey Coaching Staff
Andy Thornton
Associate Head Coach
Coach Info:
Position: Associate Head Coach
Alma Mater: University of Abertay
Graduating Year: 2004
Experience: 15 Years
Phone: (518) 442-3713

After joining the staff in 2004, Andy Thornton is in his seventh season as associate head coach and 16th overall with the team in 2019.

In his tenure with Phil Sykes, Thornton has had a hand in six NCAA Tournament appearances for the Danes, including the 2014 NCAA Semifinal run. He has been instrumental in coaching an offense that has been ranked among the nation's leaders in points per game and goals per game. As an assiant and associate head coach for the six-time America East Champions, Thornton has coached three America East Rookies of the Year, three Midfielders of the Year, two Offensive Players of the Year and one Defensive Player of the Year.

Thorton garnered his 200th career win at UAlbany on October 7, 2018, following a 2-1 win against conference rival New Hampshire. The Great Danes finished conference play with a 6-2 record in 2018 and went on to capture both the America East regular season and tournament title. UAlbany garnered four NFHCA All-Region selections and eight All-Conference honorees including America East Defensive Player of the Year Frederike Helmke and Co-Goalkeeper of the Year Melissa Nealon. The duo also received NFHCA All-America accolades as they were selected to the second and third team, respectively.

In 2016, Thornton helped Paula Heuser be a Honda Award finalist and finish top-20 in NCAA Division I in goals, assists and point per game, totaling 17 goals, 13 assists and 47 points.  The Great Danes earned their third straight America East regular season title, going 14-6 overall with a 7-1 America East record, with at least seven players earning double digit points.

Thornton saw two players rank top-five in three offensive categories in 2015. Midfield sensation Paula Heuser came in at No. 3 in points per game (3.59) and goals per game (1.55). Fiori Van Rijswijk was the national runner-up in assists per game (0.94) as a stalwart member of the penalty corner unit. The Great Danes earned an all-time program record six spots on the NFHCA All-Northeast Region team under Thornton's guidance in 2015. Also, on Oct. 2, 2015, he served as acting head coach in a 3-1 victory over Vermont. 

The Danes won an all-time best 20 games in 2014, including the nation's best winning streak at 14 games en route to the NCAA Semifinals. Also in 2014, Thornton led the U.S., Men's Indoor field hockey squad to a silver medal at the 2014 Pan-Am games in Uruguay as the team's head coach. He previously held the women's head coach position in which he led the team to a bronze medal at the Pan American Games in Venezuela in 2010 and a silver medal in Argentina in 2008.

He was named the 2004 Scottish Coach of the Year for youth boys and took Grove Academy High School to their first U-18 national title in March of 2004. Thornton was also the head coach for the women's field hockey team at Dundee University from 2002-04. In 2003 he was named the Scottish Grass Roots Coach of the Year.

As a player, Thornton was a member of the Menzieshill men's field hockey club, which competes at the top indoor and outdoor levels. Thornton has won 11 national titles and played in 11 European Cups, representing Scotland. He has played in Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, France, Russia, Denmark, Austria, Scotland and Poland, winning gold, two silver and bronze European medals. Thornton has played on the Scottish outdoor and indoor senior teams, including a match against then-reigning World and Olympic Champion Germany in 2008.

In December 2008, Thornton captained Scotland in a tri-nations tournament against England and Australia.  Thornton would again captain Scotland at the European Championships in 2010, Poznan, Poland and 2012, Lignano, Italy. 

Thornton earned a bachelor's degree in sports coaching and development from the University of Abertay in 2004.

A native of Dundee, Scotland, Thornton retired from International hockey in 2012 and from competitive European club hockey in 2015.  He is an accomplished squash player and plays regularly at the Fort Orange Club.

Thornton, resides in Mechanicville with his wife Whitney and daughter Ava.