Amy Robertson, a veteran field hockey coach late of Indiana University, has recently been hired to be the interim head coach at the University of Massachusetts since the abrupt departure of Carla Tagliente to Princeton.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette put an interesting line in its story about the appointment. It indicated that UMass Athletic Director Ryan Bamford said that Robertson was not interested in being the Minutewomen’s coach on a permanent basis.
One of the appeals of competition is the dream that any team has a reasonable chance of success — of being a Leicester City in the Premiership, a Kansas City Royals in baseball, an Alan Kulwicki in NASCAR.
But in field hockey, there are a number of programs which collectively hold the advantage over everyone else. This includes the entire ACC, Big Ten, and a good portion of the Big East.
For Massachusetts, runners-up in the inaugural NCAA title match in 1981, I think the Robertson hire is a genius move, but I wish it had been a permanent hire.
For the game of field hockey to improve both in its general product and in terms of preparation of players for possible national-team duty, it is imperative that proven coaches be at the helm of each and every program in Division I so that all of these programs can become a “destination school” for the players who want to continue in the game, and not just a select few.