Meharg Named National Coach of the Year

Jan. 10, 2011

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  • COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The National Field Hockey Coaches Association has announced that Missy Meharg, head coach of the National Champion Maryland field hockey program, is its Division I Coach of the Year for an unprecedented eighth time.

    Meharg, a graduate of the University of Delaware and the Tatnall School, led the Terrapins to their seventh National Championship in 2010, going 23-1 on the year. Maryland also claimed its ninth and third straight ACC Tournament title as part of a season-ending 15-game winning streak. Coming into the 2010 season, the Terps lost seven of 11 starters from a 23-1 NCAA runner-up team in 2009.

    "This honor is a tribute to an amazing staff,” Meharg said. “With Tjerk being here for four ACC titles and four NCAA championships, having Dina Rizzo back as an alum and an Olympian, as well as having Barb Weinberg who is an Olympian as well, it is a really high-level staff that I know the players so heavily benefitted from. This is a team award and it’s a real honor.”

    “Missy is one of the great collegiate coaches in the nation – in field hockey or any sport,” Maryland Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson said. “Her student athletes perform at a championship level on the field, in the classroom and in our community. I congratulate Missy on this well-deserved recognition.”

    Meharg was named the NFHCA’s Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year for the 13th year in December. She was one of five finalists for the National Coach of the Year award, including Char Morrett (Penn State), Justine Sowry (Massachusetts), Karen Shelton (North Carolina) and Anne Wilkinson (Ohio State).

    The Terrapins won their fourth NCAA title in six years November 21 (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010) when they beat No. 2 North Carolina 3-2 in double overtime in College Park. Either Maryland or North Carolina has won the last six titles. The Terps won the crown in front of 2,381 fans at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex – the largest crowd in NCAA field hockey history.

    Meharg earns her eighth National Coach of the Year award at the conclusion of her 23rd season at the helm of the Terps. Tjerk Van Herwaarden has been on Meharg's staff for six seasons. Former Terrapin great Dina Rizzo and Barb Weinberg each were on the Maryland sideline for the first time this season.

    Meharg's overall record of 413-102-9 gives her a winning percentage of .796, which is second among all active coaches. She earned her 400th career victory with a 4-3 win at Michigan on Oct. 3. Over the last two seasons, the Terrapins are 46-2 with two ACC championships, two trips to the NCAA Finals and an NCAA championship.

    She has coached four Honda Award winners that have won six awards, including 2009 and 2010 winner Katie O’Donnell, 45 All-Americans, five four-time All Americans, nine ACC Player of the Year recipients, seven ACC Freshman of the Year winners.

    O’Donnell was named the National Player of the Year and Offensive MVP by womensfieldhockey.com at the conclusion of the 2010 season. Four Terrapins, O’Donnell, Megan Frazer, Jemma Buckley and Jill Witmer were named All-Americans.

    Four of Meharg's former athletes served on the U.S. National team for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Lauren Powley, Keli Smith and Rizzo were on the 16-spot roster and Sara Silvetti served as an alternate. Katie Kauffman Beach was the Terps' first Olympian in Atlanta Games in 1996. Terrapin athletes have played on their respective national teams from eight countries around the world: England, Ireland, Chile, Holland, Germany, Australia, Zimbabwe, Scotland. Katie O'Donnell is currently the starting center forward for the U.S. National team.

    Meharg served on the U.S. National Team coaching staff from 1993-1997. She assisted in the 1994 World Cup, the 1995 Pan American Games and the 1996 Olympics. Meharg was a 2010 USA Under 21 squad coaching staff member. She has worked with International teams in the ages of Under-21 and Under-18.

    Over 85 Maryland players have earned spots on the ACC's Honor Roll and 56 Terrapins have been named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association's Academic Squad.