Legendary UConn field hockey coach Nancy Stevens retires


UConn field hockey head coach Nancy Stevens has decided to retire effective September 1, according to a press release from UConn Athletics.

Stevens, a three-time National Champion and the NCAA’s all-time winningest field hockey coach, has led the Huskies for the past 30 seasons. In that time, UConn has become one of the powerhouses of college field hockey, winning 19 Big East Tournament titles, 19 Big East regular season titles, appearing in 24 NCAA tournaments, reaching the Final Four 10 times and winning three National Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2017.

Longtime assistant coach Paul Caddy will take over for Stevens as the head coach, while Stevens will stay involved with the team as a volunteer assistant, UConn’s statement said.

“I am thrilled that one of the top field hockey minds in the country has been named head coach of the UConn Huskies,” Stevens said in the statement. “Paul will work tirelessly to keep our program among the nation’s elite and consistently chase championships in the seasons ahead.”

After a successful playing career at West Chester University, where she won a National Championship in 1975, Stevens entered the world of coaching, where she has spent the last 43 years of her life.

“I was given opportunities to coach at four amazing institutions: UConn, Northwestern, Penn State and Franklin & Marshall,” Stevens said in her statement. “Working with bright and talented student-athletes has been a source of great joy and for that I will remain incredibly grateful. They have enriched my life immeasurably.”

Stevens has coached 50 first-team All-Americans and 11 members of the U.S National Field Hockey Team, but also has some achievements of her own. Stevens has been named the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Coach of the Year three times, the Mideast Region Coach of the Year nine times and the Big East Coach of the Year 13 times. She was also inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame in 2007.

Stevens has certainly left her mark on the sport of field hockey, retiring with an exceptional record of 700-189-24.

UConn coach Nancy Stevens has amassed more field hockey victories than anyone in history. File photo/The Daily Campus

“Nancy has had a legendary career and has positively impacted countless student-athletes,” Athletic Director David Benedict said in the statement.  “UConn field hockey has been a tremendous source of pride for the university community for decades and we are all grateful to Nancy for her leadership.”

Stevens has been such a successful coach, not only because of her knowledge of field hockey, but also because of how much she cares about her players. Her emphasis not just on wins and losses, but more on the success of her players on and off the field has helped to create a winning culture at UConn.

“Success is the result of a collaborative effort,” Stevens said in her statement. “I will forever be indebted to our terrific support staff and visionary university leaders. Our Alumni burn with a passion for their university and our sport. That has motivated us each day to pursue excellence in all aspects of our program. The future for UConn field hockey couldn’t be any brighter and I am so proud to have been a part of its enduring legacy. Go Huskies!”

Danny Barletta is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.barletta@uconn.edu. He tweets @dbars_12.

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