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Field Hockey Coach of the Year
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2000

Linda Nixon
Springfield Township High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

"Linda Nixon iis an outstanding example for successful high school field hockey coaches," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "SThey place a high value on the teamwork skills players learn for success in the classroom and on the field, and we are proud to be honoring her." A 33-year coaching veteran, Nixon led the Lady Raiders to a 17-4-2 record and the Pennsylvania District 1, Class AA title last season, quite a turnaround from the previous season, when the team lost in the first round. Springfield Township also won the District 1 title in 1993.

 

2001

Bob Derr
Lititz High School, Warwick, Pennsylvania

Under Derr's direction, Warwick High has become a field hockey powerhouse, winning Class AAA state championships in 1999 and 2000 and losing just one of 55 games over that span. Derr's 2000 squad finished the season with a perfect 28-0 record, and its current winning streak stands at 32 straight over two years. The 1999 team finished 26-1-1. Derr's teams were outstanding defensively; in their title runs in 1999 and 2000, they allowed a total of one goal each year in four state tournament games. In 1998, Derr led Warwick to the state quarterfinals, and his three-year record is 77-5-1.
 

2002

Diana Walker
Sanford High School, Sanford, Maine

Walker has been the head coach at Sanford High for 19 seasons. She led the team to back-to-back state titles in Maine's big-school Class A in 1999 and 2000, the first school in nearly a decade to win consecutive Class A titles. This past season, Sanford reached the state title game for the third consecutive year, and built a 50-match winning streak over the three seasons before seeing it come to an end in this year's state final.В Sports IllustratedВ magazine also recognized Walker's distinguished career with a mention in its "Faces in the Crowd" section this year.  

 

2003

Debby Watson
Villa Duchesne High School, St. Louis, Missouri

"Debby Watson is clearly among the best high school field hockey coaches of all-time," said NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro. "The NHSCA is proud to honor her as the National High School Field Hockey Coach of the Year." Watson has coached field hockey at Villa Duchesne for the past thirty years and her career record now sits one victory shy of 500 wins at 499-69-17. Watson's teams have collected eight state championships and have finished as runners-up another 17 times.В  When Villa Duchesne gets its first win next season, Watson will become only the fourth prep field hockey coach in U.S. history to get her 500th win. During her impressive career, Watson has coached over 50 athletes that have gone on to play field hockey at NCAA Division 1 institutions. 

 

2004

Paula Doughty
Skowhegan Area High School, Skowhegan, Maine

Longtime Skowhegan Area High School coach Paula Doughty is the NHSCA selection in the sport of field hockey, after leading the Indians to a third straight Maine state title. This marked the team's ninth trip to the state championship game since 1991, and its sixth title in that span.   

 

2005

Amy Longley
Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights, Ohio

A 27-year coaching veteran with a career record of 273-43-57, Longley has continued the tradition of excellence at the Hathaway Brown School. Her 2002 team was the Ohio state champion, and she was voted Field Hockey Coach of the Year by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Her 2003 and 2004 teams advanced to the state semifinals. A member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Field Hockey Advisory Committee, Longley received the OHSAA's Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award in 1996. The NFHS named her its Field Hockey Coach of the Year in 2004. 

 

2006

Diane Chapman 
Garden City High School, Garden City, New York

Chapman's teams at Garden City have established a standard of excellence during her 14 seasons as head coach. This year's team finished 19-0 and dethroned two-time defending state champion Setauket Ward-Melville High en route to the state title, her fourth at the school. Chapman has led Garden City to a 224-21-21 record and state championships in 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2005. She was named Coach of the Year by Newsday, and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association named her its North Region Coach of the Year.   

 

2007

Sue Butz-Stavin
Emmaus High School, Emmaus, Pennsylvania

The year 2005 was memorable in the 31-year coaching career of Butz-Stavin, who stands No. 2 on the sport's all-time victory list. Her Emmaus team finished with a perfect 28-0 record and won its state-best eighth state championship; Butz-Stavin recorded her 600th career victory; three of her players earned high school All-America honors; and she was named a finalist for the United States Olympic Committee's Developmental Coach of the Year award. Her career record stands at 638-69-33. This year's team shut out its first 19 opponents, finished 24-2 and advanced to the state semifinals. A member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame, Butz-Stavin's FireStyx club team won the gold medal at the National Hockey Festival, winning pool championships in the event five of the last six years. 

 

2008

Robin Chandler
The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut

A 1987 Hotchkiss graduate who became the first girl to earn 12 varsity letters in three sports - field hockey, ice hockey and softball - at the school, Chandler, who still owns several of Hotchkiss's softball records, has built its field hockey program into a Northeast powerhouse. Last fall, the Lady Bearcats finished 19-0 and won an unprecedented sixth consecutive New England Class A title while sweeping all three postseason tournaments, the Class A meet, the Western New England Championship and the Founders League Championship, for the second straight year and the fourth time in her career. In 11 seasons, her teams own a record of 159-9-11 and have won seven Class A crowns, five Western New England crowns and nine Founders League crowns. Chandler is the school's co-athletic director and also serves as assistant ice hockey coach. The National Field Hockey Coaches Association voted Chandler its Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year the past three seasons. 

 

2009

Karen Klassner
Wyoming Seminary Upper School, Kingston, Pennsylvania

Klassner became Wyoming Seminary's head coach in 1972. Her team posted a 23-1 record and won its third Class 2A state championship last fall. She also has guided the Knights to five district titles, eight league titles and 22 district playoff appearances since the school joined the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association in 1985. Her career record 503-129-42, and she is a seven-time Coach of the Year. The school's field hockey field is named Klassner Field in her honor. Klassner chaired for the National Field Hockey Coaches Association High School All-America selection committee from 1998-2002, and is president of the state coaches association and chair of its All-State selection committee. Named the Developmental Coach of the Year by the U.S. Field Hockey Association in 2006, Klassner also has coached swimming, basketball and softball at Wyoming Seminary.  

 

2010

Danyle Heilig
Eastern Regional High School, Voorhees, New Jersey

Eastern was a field hockey powerhouse before Heilig arrived, and she has elevated that tradition. In 12 seasons as a head coach, one at Haddon Heights High School and 11 at Eastern, Heilig’s teams have compiled an overall record of 275-8-9, the best career winning percentage of any high school coach in any sport, and once owned a 153-match unbeaten streak. At Eastern, Heilig is 255-2-5 against New Jersey opponents, including a 57-1 playoff mark. She was named United States Coach of the Year by TopOfTheCircle.com in 2009 after leading the Vikings to a 26-2 record, its 11th consecutive Group 4 state championship and its third Tournament of Champions title in four years. One of the two defeats came on penalty strokes to Kingston (PA) Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School, coached by the NHSCA’s 2009 National Coach of the Year, Karen Klassner. An offensive juggernaut, Eastern outscored its eight state playoff opponents by a combined 63-4 margin, and the Vikings led the nation in scoring with 206 goals, becoming just the second high school team ever to pass the 200-goal mark. Eastern received the Newark Star-Ledger Trophy as the state’s top program for the ninth time in 10 years.

 

2011

Wendy Wilson
Tabb High School, Yorktown, Virginia

One of the most respected offensive minds in the sport’s coaching ranks, Wilson has turned Tabb into a small-school Virginia powerhouse since her arrival in 2004. In 2009, the Tigers became just the sixth team in the nation to score more than 150 goals in a season, while posting its second consecutive 24-0 season. That team, which included the first group of seventh-graders she recruited in building Tabb’s program, graduated with back-to-back state championships and the nation’s longest winning streak. Wilson’s 2008 team allowed just six goals all season, earning her Bay Rivers District, region and state Coach of the Year awards, along with South Region Coach of the Year honors from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). The Tigers’ 2009 title earned Wilson the NFHCA’s National Coach of the Year award. Last fall, rebuilding a team that graduated its goalkeeper and its entire defense, Wilson led the Tigers to a 22-3 record, and her team didn’t allow a goal in the state tournament for the third straight year. A standout field hockey and lacrosse player at Christopher Newport University (CNU), Wilson once scored nine goals in a game and holds the school single-game, season and career records in goals and points. She also scored 73 goals in two lacrosse seasons, and is an assistant lacrosse coach at CNU.

 

2012

Lillian "Lil” Shelton
Severna Park High School, Severna Park, Maryland

Shelton’s 37th and final season concluded last fall with her 20th state championship, more than any other coach in National Federation high school history. Severna Park’s 3-1 victory over Bethesda-Chevy Chase High in the 4A final capped a 17-2 season and lifted Shelton’s final record to 544-60-10, with 31 Anne Arundel County and 29 regional titles. She built those numbers despite Maryland being restricted to playing the shortest regular-season schedule in the United States – just 12 regular season games, plus one in-season tournament – the latter requiring Shelton’s lobbying efforts before the Maryland state legislature to be added to the schedule. Shelton, who retired from teaching in 2000, started the county’s first program with sticks found in a broom closet, and was instrumental in the addition of youth leagues and Bermuda-grass fields to strengthen the sport. Shelton was named the Dita/National Field Hockey Coaches Association South Region Coach of the Year this season, and she also received national Coach of the Year honors from TopOfTheCircle.com and VarsitySportsNetwork.com.

 

2013

Eileen Donahue
Watertown High School, Watertown, Massachusetts 

Donahue ended the 2012 season by guiding Watertown to its 13th Massachusetts state field hockey championship, which was also the school’s 92nd straight game without a loss; going 90-0-2 during the streak. The win streak is tied for the fourth longest all-time in America. In her 27th year as head coach of the program, Watertown finished a perfect 23-0 in 2012 while wining the MIAA Division 2 title. Donahue’s lifetime record is 528-30-45.

 

2014

Tara Worley
Lakeland High School, Suffolk, Virginia

Coach Worley, who retired at the end of the 2013 season, built Lakeland High School field hockey program into one of the best in the State of Virginia during her 15-years as head coach of the Lady Cavaliers.  Worley’s lifetime record stands at 250-46-3 with her 2010 squad winning Virginia’s Class AAA state title.  In addition to the 2010 state title, Worley coached her girls to two regional championships, 13 regular season Southeastern District titles, 12 district titles and one conference championship.

 

2015

Laurie Kerr
Warren Hills High School, Washington, New Jersey

Laurie Kerr, who has been the head field hockey coach at Warren Hills for 15 years, led the school to its first state title in 2014.  Warren Hills captured New Jersey’s Group 3 title. Kerr, who is a Warren Hills alum, is a member of the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.  Kerr’s lifetime record is 265-71-12. Coach Kerr is the second coach from New Jersey to be named NHSCA National Field Hockey Coach of the Year. Eastern Regional’s Danyle Heilig won the award in 2010.

 

2016

Linda Kreiser
Lower Dauphin High School, Middletown, Pennsylvania

Kreiser has had an incredible career with a lifetime record of 738-104-35 with six state titles in 1993, 1998, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2013.  She began her coaching career at her alma mater in 1978. Kreiser has been inducted into the National Field Hockey Coaches’ Hall of Fame, the USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame and into the Millersville University Athletics Hall of Fame. Not only is Kreiser a great coach, she was also an excellent player.  She played on Team USA from 1972 through 1979 and participated in the 1975 World Cup.                 

  

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