Field Hockey Looks for Full-Time Coach

by Abby Ferguson

A new era has begun for the Transylvania field hockey team. Transy’s athletic department is now moving toward a full-time coach. The position has been part-time since 2003 and is currently held by Susannah Kilbourne, who also teaches English at Lafayette High School.

The field hockey team has had a part-time coach for years but is now ready for a full-time coach.

“Field hockey is probably the only (sport) other than women’s golf … that didn’t have (a) full-time coach. I think when we look at it from (the perspective of) supporting the student athlete, we’re not supporting the field hockey team like we are some of the other sports. This is an attempt to say field hockey is important, just like all the rest of the sports,” said Director of Athletics Jack Ebel.

According to senior captain Rebecca Tougher, “All of the applicants have coaching experience at the high school or collegiate level and seem well-qualified for the position.”

The athletic department is now in the process of phone interviews and is doing their homework on the different applicants who have applied.

“I called other head coaches to see if they could recommend an assistant coach they had or if they knew of anyone that was interested. I also talked with a number of athletic directors at the NCAA convention to see if they had people that they could recommend,” said Ebel.
Ebel wants to make sure that whomever they bring into the Transy community is a good fit for the team.

“We’re looking for someone who understands the game, someone that can teach it, coach it, has got lots of enthusiasm, (who’s) going to be a good leader and … can take what we’ve got – (a) field hockey team (that) works very hard and puts in a lot of effort – but can take us to the next level,” said Ebel.

Ebel is positive that having a full-time coach will give them the benefit of better recruiting. He also made it clear that bringing in a new coach is a community effort and everyone’s opinion is vital to this process.

“The way we will operate with this one is we will invite the two or three candidates on campus for interviews. They will interview with most of the people in (Old Morrison): the president; the academic deans; Mike Vetter, who is the supervisor of athletics; admissions; (and) financial aid. (They) all get to meet (the candidates) because we all (in athletics) interact with all those areas (in Old Morrison),” said Ebel.

The candidates will also meet with Ebel; softball coach Michelle Manning, who is the senior women’s administrator; all Transylvania coaches; and the field hockey players. Ebel believes that the coaches are an important part because it’s “a team effort” and any candidate needs to be able to interact with any of the coaches on campus.

Ebel also made it clear that the field hockey players’ input is important. They will have the opportunity to interact with the candidates over lunch and then be able to turn in their suggestions on a set evaluation form.

Senior captain Elizabeth Todd said, “I am confident that (the players) will maintain their high work ethic and continue to build a growing program.”


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