Dec 12, 2013, 9:11 AM EDT
University of Delaware field hockey coach Rolf van de Kerkhof was named the 2013 Division I Field Hockey Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) announced on Wednesday.
The Blue Hens shined in 2013 under the guidance of van de Kerkhof, capturing the school’s third CAA Field Hockey Championship and first since 2009. UD posted a perfect 6-0 record in league play to earn the program’s first regular-season title and also hosted its first CAA field hockey championship.
A native of the Netherlands, van de Kerkhof helped the Blue Hens reach the CAA tournament in each of his first two seasons at the helm starting in 2010. In just his third season this past fall, UD convincingly won the league title en route to advancing to the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship. The Hens earned a home play-in game, defeating Liberty, 1-0. It was the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory since 1982, while the win (the team’s 17th) set a new single-season record.
Not surprisingly, van de Kerkhof was named CAA Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with William & Mary longtime assistant-turned head coach Tess Ellis. He became the first UD field hockey coach to take home the league’s top coaching honor and now owns an overall record of 108-62 in eight years as a head coach, including a 34-28 mark during his tenure with the Blue Hens.
Thanks to some strong recruiting efforts, van de Kerkhof’s 2013 squad was led by a number of talented underclassmen who contributed right away. This included freshman and CAA Player of the Year Esmee Peet, sophomore first-team All-CAA member Michaela Patzner, sophomore defender Allie Mikelson — a second-team All-CAA contributor — and freshman Meghan Winesett, who joined Mikelson on the second team. In all, Delaware led the league with nine total selections across each All-CAA squad.
Delaware was ranked in the final NFHCA Top-20 Division I Poll at No. 14. van de Kerkhof is one of five head coaches that qualified for the NFHCA Division I National Coach of the Year honor, which will be announced on January 6.
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