Last month, Bertie Landes won her second NCAA Division II championship as head coach of Shippensburg University.
This week, she announced her retirement.
Landes, since 1980, has amassed nearly 500 victories in collegiate field hockey, both with Shippensburg and a 19-year stint in virtual anonymity as head coach of Philadelphia College of Bible, a team this site profiled a decade and a half ago.
Landes’ playing career in field hockey was informed by her defense. She played on defenses that conceded a mere 22 goals over her four seasons with Lock Haven. But back in the late 1960s when she played, there were no NCAA or AIAW championships to be won.
She took her defensive talents to the U.S. women’s national team, earning caps on tours of other countries in between appearances at International Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations world-level tournaments.
The first half of her coaching career came with little reward; PCB was a member of the NAIA and kept to an independent schedule.
These days, there is no field hockey played at the school, which has been rebranded as Cairn University.
Landes toiled for another dozen years with Shippensburg and got close to a championship, but the Raiders broke through twice in the 2010s.
Landes, earlier this year, got one last taste of international competition when, under the aegis of USA Athletes International, she coached a group of Division II collegiate players at the Victorian Country Field Hockey Tournament in Melbourne.
I don’t know whether that experience translated directly into Ship’s success this past fall, but it couldn’t have hurt.
Regardless, Landes was able to retire as a winner.
And how many of us can say that?