Following a seven-year hiatus, field hockey coach Cathy “La” LaDuke is back on the sidelines this season.
“There was a need on the coaching staff and Rector Connell asked me if I would consider stepping in and helping lead the team this fall,” LaDuke said. “As the former coach who worked hard to build a successful program, I wanted to see field hockey continue to thrive as we come out of a non-competitive COVID-19 season.”
LaDuke’s return is solely for this encore season, and even with limited time she is excited to work with players and help them develop their field hockey skills, game play, and leadership. Overall, she hopes her coaching will help each player grow their individual appreciation for the game.
“This year’s team includes several returning players with solid skills, and we have experienced players joining the team for the first time,” she said. “There are also athletes who are stepping onto the field for the very first time and they are picking up the skills, drills, and game strategies. It is going to be a fun season of learning and playing.”
Prior to this season, LaDuke’s 19-year field hockey coaching career included four conference championships and several second-place finishes, as well as a few state championship appearances and Coach of the Year awards.
“I’ve been fortunate to coach some talented Turtle teams,” she said. “Our successes have all been highlights in my coaching career, but the real reason for those honors was the hard work of our student-athletes - they were the ones on the field running around and putting the ball in the goal.”