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July 5, 2018 — United States Coach of the Year: the nominees

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:

Jessica Blake, Haddonfield (N.J.) Memorial: Even though the school’s field hockey program had a 90-year head start on girls’ lacrosse, the Bulldogs have reached the same championship level in just 10 years with her in charge since the very start of the program

Kara Connerty, Norwell (Mass.): Won its third state title in four years, getting by its nemesis Cohasett in the process

Michelle Cook, Wellesley (Mass.): In just four years, has turned this program from a mid-pack player into the state Division I champions

Richard DeSomma, South Riding Freedom (Va.): After 23 years as a varsity and club coach, won his first VHSL championship

Kaitlin Doucette, San Diego Torrey Pines (Calif.): Got her players to buy into her system and to handle the expectations in winning the CIF Open Division championship

Danielle Gallagher, Manhasset (N.Y.): Former U.S. women’s national team member guided team to state title only to be let go after the season ended

Kevin Ferry, Marlemont (Ohio): Won school’s first Division II title with an inspirational figure on his coaching staff

Mac Ford, Towson Notre Dame Prep: Guided his team to the IAAM Class “A” playoff title, in the process beating the previously unbeatable McDonogh Eagles and ending their win streak at 198 matches

John McClain, Delray American Heritage (Fla.): In a Wild West of new playing opportunities, he has been able to muster the necessary resources to win the school’s first state championship with a player for the ages

Kevin O’Connell, Honeoye Falls-Lima (N.Y.): Brought a sub-.500 team to the state Class “D” playoffs and made it to the championship final

The recipient will be announced July 13th.

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