SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) has announced the results of its recent election and Mount Holyoke College head field hockey coach Andy Whitcomb has been chosen as the organization's next President. She becomes the first Division III coach to hold the title and begins her two-year term on January 1, 2014.
"It is my honor to have been selected to lead an organization that is held in such high esteem and is representative of the entire field hockey coaching body," said Whitcomb. "So much good has been done over the last few years and I look forward to building on that success while keeping our organization fresh, forward thinking and united."
Whitcomb, who just completed her 16th season at the helm, guided Mount Holyoke to one its best seasons in program history. The Lyons went 18-3, which was the second-most wins in program history (behind the 2002 team - 19-4) and the program record for fewest losses. Additionally, MHC was second in the NEWMAC standings with a 7-1 record.
The team received an At-Large bid into the NCAA Tournament – their third appearance under Whitcomb – an earned the program's first-ever NCAA victory with a 5-2 defeat of Gwynedd-Mercy University in the First Round. The Lyons fell by a 1-0 margin in double-overtime against top-seeded Montclair State University in the Second Round.
Six student-athletes finished with double-digits in points, while four were named NEWMAC All-Conference, including the Rookie of the Year. Her squad was also among Division III's best in a number of categories, finishing second in save percentage (.862) and fifth in both scoring margin (2.85) and winning percentage (.857).
One of the most respected coaches in the northeast, Whitcomb has posted an impressive 181-130-1 (.581) record since taking over the reins of the program in 1998. Her teams have qualified for the NEWMAC Tournament in each of the past 15 seasons. Overall, she has a career coaching record of 200-147-1, which includes her two-year stint at Montclair State University prior to Mount Holyoke. The Lyons win over Gwynedd-Mercy in the NCAA Tournament being Whitcomb's 200th career victory.
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 before eventually falling to Skidmore College and Salisbury University, respectively. Whitcomb was named NEWMAC Coach of the Year and NFHCA New England East Region Coach of the Year for her efforts in both 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.
During the 2011 campaign, the Lyons posted a 16-5 record, including a 6-2 mark in the NEWMAC to earn the conference's Regular Season crown. The squad advanced to the NEWMAC Championship for the 13th straight season and went on to win the 2011 ECAC DIII New England Tournament.
Whitcomb has coached several individual standouts, including seven National All-Americans and 32 Regional All-Americans. Three of her players have earned NEWMAC Rookie of the Year honors, and over 100 have claimed NFHCA All-Academic status.
Prior to joining the Mount Holyoke staff, Whitcomb served as head coach for the Montclair State University field hockey team. In two years, her teams broke school records for wins in a season, goals in a season, shutouts and longest winning streak. Whitcomb collected NJAC Coach of the Year honors in 1997 before departing for Mount Holyoke. Under her tutelage, the Red Hawks posted an overall record of 19-17-0 (.528).
Whitcomb has served as 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 the College, 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.