The United States Coach of the Year Award is given to a head coach or co-head coaches who made a noticeable difference in the performance of a scholastic field hockey team in a particular season. The coaching performance is not limited to progress made in the year which the award is given.
Here are this year’s nominees:
Laurie Berger, San Diego Serra (Calif.) — Gifted attacking side set a California record for goals scored in a season, winning the Serra Invitational (where a team is obligated to play three games on consecutive Saturdays), a pair of intersectional matches, and the Open Division of the CIF San Diego Section
Sue Butz-Stavin, Emmaus (Pa.) — Took virtually the same team that won the PIAA Class AAA Tournament by an overtime goal a year ago, and improved them to a point where they won the championship final against the same team by four goals
Cheryl Capozzoli, Newport (Pa.) — Steered the Buffalos to their best record since 1989 and their first state tournament berth since 1990
Tiffany Cappellano, Oley (Pa.) Valley — Team went undefeated through the regular season and playoffs until the state final. During the final, the Lynx spotted the opposition a four-goal lead and were within 1:02 of making up that deficit.
Jill Cosse, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.) — Built a balanced attack and gave confidence to a young defense and goalkeeper as the Knights won the Group II state championship and the Tournament of Champions in overtime
Janet Dickey, Westbrook (Conn.) — Guided the Knights to their first state championship appearance in 41 years
Kathryn Dolan, Andover Phillips Academy (Mass.) — Playing in a tough conference with extensive travel, won second consecutive NEPSAC Class A title in a penalty shootout
Katie Duke, Chesapeake Great Bridge (Va.) — Given a chance to play for a state championship thanks to the expansion of classifications, the Wildcats, a team from a lesser well-known area of Hampton Roads, made their way to the VHSL Class 4A state final, winning the championship in a penalty shootout
Jeanne Frevola, Clifton Park Shenendehowa (N.Y.) — Steered a talented team to an undefeated season in NYSPHSAA Class A
Jodi Byrd Hollamon, Delmar (Del.) — After five appearances in the final, the Wildcats brought home a championship to the small village of 1,600 on the Delaware/Maryland border
Nancy Millward, Webster Groves Nerinx Hall (Mo.) — Markers sent out veteran head coach with a season with a number of strong wins, including defeats of Lake Forest (Ill.) and St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
Janina Perna, Cape May Court House Middle Township (N.J.) — Won first NJSIAA South Jersey Group I championship led by one of the school’s top athletes, who forms part of a great lacrosse attack
Derek Ryan, Leesburg Heritage (Va.) — Brought first-year Loudoun County team to the state championship semifinal round, but he also did a lot of work in petitioning to get the sport added at this and 13 other schools
Jessica Rose Shellenberger, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) — Coached the Indians to their first state championship in a very difficult bracket
Ian Tapsall, Westport Staples (Conn.) — Brought his international credentials to the school and, in his second year, built a defense which helped the Wreckers win the CIAC Class L co-championship
The recipient will be announced December 30.