After a tumultuous two weeks with no one manning the helm, the field hockey team learned late last week that a familiar face — and exactly the one the Bulldogs wanted — will be leading it into the 2005 season.
The Yale athletics department announced Friday that current assistant coach Pam Stuper will be the new head coach of the Yale field hockey team. Stuper was the team’s choice to replace Ainslee Lamb, who was named head coach at Boston College last week. The entire team spoke with Senior Associate Director of Varsity Sports Barbara Chesler Feb 4, with a previously determined representative from each class explaining why their class in particular wanted Stuper to be the new coach.
“We sat with [Chesler], just wanted to express to her how much we wanted Pam to be our coach,” forward Katie Rivkin ’06 said. “It would have been difficult if Pam had been the interim coach. We wanted to get moving towards next year. We wanted to know what’s going on.”
Stuper had been an assistant coach at Yale for seven seasons and was an assistant at James Madison from 1993 to 1995. She graduated from Old Dominion University in 1992, where she was part of three national championship-winning teams and was given All-American honors twice.
Stuper also has extensive experience in international play. She competed for the U.S. National Team in the 1995 Pan American Games and the 1994 World Cup, and was an alternate for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team.
“Pam has always been a champion, so I trust her in the sense that she knows how to be a champion,” forward Catherine Lindroth ’08 said. “I think we really need a person who will show us how to be a champion. We didn’t really have that last year.”
Lamb leaves after five years as the Bulldogs’ head coach. She amassed a 41-47 win-loss record during her tenure, including a 13-22 Ivy League mark. Lamb’s best results came in 2002 and 2003, when the Elis posted back-to-back 12-win seasons and repeated as ECAC champions.
Lamb replaces long-time coach Sherren Granese, who retired in January after 18 years with the Eagles. Last fall, Granese led BC to a program-best 17-6 record, a No. 13 national ranking and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
Lamb assumes the reins at BC just as the Eagles prepare to move into the Atlantic Coast Conference, the strongest conference in Div. I field hockey.
The Elis recognize and regret that they are losing a coach who led the Yale program to unprecedented success, but they also believe that Stuper is a strong coach who will help the team build on the foundation that Lamb leaves behind.
“Ainslee has taken the program to completely new levels and done a great job. She’s definitely a loss to the program,” 2004 captain Chrissy Hall ’05 said. “But at the same time, Pam is an amazing coach and is going to do some great things for the team. She has new ideas, new directions, and now is an opportune time for those changes.”