NEW CANAAN, Conn. (May 27, 2011) – Mount Holyoke College field hockey head coach Andy Whitcomb was recently inducted into the St. Luke's School Athletic Hall of Fame. Ceremonies took place on Saturday night in Carey Gymnasium. Whitcomb was joined in the inaugural class by nine other honorees, including her father.
"It was truly an honor to be inducted, but to have been inducted with so many people who had such an impact on my life made it that much more special," said Whitcomb. "It was a surreal feeling to know that it was 28 years ago that I last competed at St. Luke's. I am appreciative that the committee not only recognized me but embraced inducting two different women in the inaugural year. It was a wonderful evening - one that will remain with me for a very long time."
Whitcomb graduated from St. Luke's in 1983. During her years on the Hilltop, she played four different sports for a total of 18 varsity seasons. She had her first taste of the varsity athletic lifestyle as a seventh grader, participating in field hockey and volleyball during the fall and softball in the spring. The following year, she was a three sport varsity athlete, playing field hockey, basketball and softball. She continued playing those three sports all the way through her senior year at St. Luke's.
Whitcomb served as a captain and earned All-League honors in all three sports. In addition to becoming the first female basketball in school history to eclipse the 1,000 point plateau, she was also the recipient of the school's Senior Bowl Award in 1983.
Despite the athletic demands on her schedule, Whitcomb also found time to be a member of the Student Council and to volunteer with the STAR organization, assisting and participating in the lives of the mentally challenged. She went on to play basketball and lacrosse at SUNY Cortland.
Whitcomb is a life-long believer in the power of education and the role of athletics in the educational environment. After college, she returned to St. Luke's to teach science, coach basketball and start the school's varsity lacrosse program.
After several years at St. Luke's, Whitcomb left to become the head field hockey coach at Montclair State University. Her teams broke school records for wins in a season, goals in a season, shutouts and longest winning streak. She collected NJAC Coach of the Year honors in 1997.
Whitcomb's success at Montclair State led her to Mount Holyoke, where she has served as head field hockey coach since 1998. One of the top coaches in the northeast, she has posted an impressive 140-112-1 (.555) in 13 seasons with the Lyons. Her teams have qualified for the NEWMAC Tournament in each of the past 12 years.
Under Whitcomb's direction, the Lyons claimed NEWMAC Tournament Championships in both 2001 and 2003. Each of those squads advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Division III National Tournament, and Whitcomb was named NEWMAC Coach of the Year and NFHCA New England East Region Coach of the Year for her efforts in those seasons. Her 2001 team was the first in program history to advance to the NCAA National Tournament.
In 2002, Whitcomb led Mount Holyoke to its first ever ECAC New England Division III Championship and its first Seven Sisters Championship in 18 years. Her squad also moved on to the ECAC Tournament title match in 2005. Whitcomb has coached several individual standouts, including four National All-Americans, 23 Regional All-Americans one NEWMAC Rookie of the Year and 94 NFHCA All-Academic players. During her tenure, the Lyons have traveled abroad to England, Argentina and South Africa.
Whitcomb is the NCAA Division III National Representative for the NFHCA, the National Chair of the NFHCA Division III Senior All-Star Game and a member of the NEWMAC Sportsmanship Committee.
In addition to her coaching duties at Mount Holyoke, she is also a Senior Lecturer in its Department of Physical Education. She teaches a variety of racquet sports, weight training, fitness for life and ultimate frisbee. Whitcomb completed her undergraduate work at SUNY Cortland and received a Master of Science Degree in exercise and sports studies from Smith College.
"Andy is an accomplished athlete and coach and we are delighted with her induction into the St. Luke's Hall of Fame," said Mount Holyoke Director of Athletics Laurie Priest. "As a coach, she has made a real difference in the lives of many young athletes and this honor is well deserved."