umterps.com: Meharg Earns National Coach of the Year

Jan. 16, 2012

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 ninth time.

Meharg led the Terrapins to the program's eighth National Championship in 2011, going 19-4 on the year. The Terps entered the NCAA Tournament unseeded and outside of the top four teams, and beat the first, second and third-seeded teams for their second straight title under Meharg.

Meharg earns her ninth National Coach of the Year award at the conclusion of her 24th season at the helm of the Terps. Tjerk van Herwaarden has been on Meharg's staff for seven seasons and five national titles. Former Terrapin great Dina Rizzo and Barb Weinberg have each been on the Maryland sidelines for the last two years and two national titles. Meharg was named the NFHCA's Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year for the 14th time in December.

"This Maryland leadership team is outrageous," Meharg said. "Tjerk, Dina, Barb and I bring such diverse coaching skill sets. It is an honor to coach with these talented coaches."

"Missy is one of the most outstanding coaches in the country in any sport," Maryland director of athletics Kevin Anderson said. "The commitment to excellence from her and her staff reaches all aspects of the game - teaching, recruiting, coaching and the team's academics. Congratulations to her and the staff for another well-deserved honor."

The Terrapins won their fifth NCAA title in seven years in November (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011) when they beat No. 1 North Carolina 3-2 in double overtime in Louisville, Ky. The Terps trailed by two with less than four minutes remaining when Meharg pulled their goalkeeper for an extra field player. Freshman Katie Gerzabek scored seconds later to pull Maryland within one, then senior Jemma Buckley sent the game into overtime with a goal off a penalty corner with the clock at zero. Meharg subbed in sophomore Jill Witmer in the 82nd minute, who took off down the field and scored for the win.

Maryland beat No. 2 Old Dominion, 4-0, in the NCAA Semifinals. The Monarchs took both earlier meetings, outscoring the Terrapins 9-3 in them. To get to the NCAA Semifinals, the Terps beat third-seeded Syracuse 3-2 in overtime in College Park.

Meharg's overall record of 432-106-9 gives her a winning percentage of .798, which is second among all active coaches.

She has coached five Honda Award winners that have won seven awards, including 2011 recipient Megan Frazer and 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.

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.