Cynthia Wetmore tabbed for NFHCA Hall of Fame

GILBERT, Ariz. — Cynthia Wetmore, former head field hockey coach at the State University of New York College at Cortland, will be inducted into the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Hall of Fame this year.

Wetmore's 18-year career at SUNY Cortland and a lifetime of dedication to women's sports have culminated in a host of accolades and a winning record that keeps her name on national rankings four years after her retirement.

Wetmore talks to a Cortland player in a red uniform.
Wetmore talks to a Cortland player during a break in action.

"Cynthia Wetmore is an outstanding selection for the NFHCA Hall of Fame. During her 18 years at SUNY Cortland she thrived — recording over 270 wins, winning a national championship, earning three trips to the NCAA Final Four, and 13 appearances in the NCAA tournament," said NFHCA First Vice-President and chair of the NFHCA Awards and Hall of Fame Committee, Julie Ryan. "Her value went far beyond the wins, with her incredible impact on many coaches in her region and beyond. The committee is thrilled to be able to honor and thank Cynthia for her many contributions to our sport, but also to share her amazing career."

"I am excited and honored to be inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame. It is truly humbling to be included in this group of esteemed coaches whom I admire and respect so much," said Wetmore. "Coaching and playing field hockey has been a wonderful lifelong adventure and I am thankful for everyone I have met along the way."

Wetmore began her collegiate playing career at Herkimer College where she played field hockey, basketball, and softball and was named the school's Athlete of the Year in 1979-80. Wetmore set the college's field hockey record for most career goals — which she still holds today. After her stint at Herkimer, an athletic scholarship led Wetmore to the University of Rhode Island where she played field hockey and lacrosse. Wetmore graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education. She then received her master's degree from Southern Illinois University in 1985 where she also served as the assistant field hockey coach.

In 1987, Wetmore was named the head coach of the Cicero-North Syracuse High School lacrosse program and in 1988 was named the head coach of the field hockey program. When Wetmore took over the field hockey program there were only 13 players — by the time Wetmore left for Cortland in 1997 there was a full varsity and junior-varsity roster as well as two modified teams playing field hockey.

During her seven years at Cicero-North, the field hockey program posted a 40-58-21 record while her lacrosse teams collected 152 wins and 14 losses with New York State Class A Championships in 1995 and 1996.

In 1997, SUNY Cortland looked to Wetmore to lead their lacrosse program and in 1998, they turned to her to lead the Red Dragon field hockey program as well.

Throughout her time at Cortland, Wetmore coached a total of 27 NFHCA All-Americans and 84 NFHCA All-Region honorees. She led a Red Dragon program that lofted 13 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) trophies, made 13 NCAA tournament appearances — including seven fifth place finishes — and celebrated an NCAA Division III National Championship in 2001.

Wetmore celebrates the 2001 NCAA National Championship with her Cortland team in red track suits.
Wetmore and the Cortland team celebrate their 2001 NCAA National Championship.

Wetmore was named the Dita/NFHCA Division III Coach of the Year in 2001. She was recognized as the NFHCA North Atlantic Region Coach of the Year five times, the SUNYAC Coach of the Year seven times, and the New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year twice. Wetmore still ranks fourth among all-time winningest Division III NCAA field hockey coaches, eighth across all divisions, and first at SUNY Cortland with her .786 winning percentage (271-74 record).

The NFHCA Hall of Fame will be Wetmore's sixth hall of fame induction — she is a member of the SUNY Cortland C-Club Hall of Fame, the Upstate US Lacrosse Hall of Fame, the Herkimer College Athletic Hall of Fame, the Greater Syracuse Hall of Fame, and the Upstate US Lacrosse Hall of Fame for Team of Honor.

Beyond her coaching accolades, Wetmore is known for her passion for and dedication to women's sports. She received the National Organization for Women's Trailblazer in Sports Award for starting the first girl's lacrosse program in the Syracuse area and for her leadership in growing the sport of lacrosse. Colleagues note that Wetmore devoted herself to ensuring that women's sports were positioned to succeed at Cortland and helped to cultivate the sport of field hockey — at all levels — in the New York region.

Wetmore will be officially inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame at this year's NFHCA Awards Dinner sponsored by AstroTurf. The dinner will take place on Thursday, January 16, 2020, as part of the 2020 NFHCA Annual Convention in Lake Mary, Florida. She will join Eileen Donahue and Enza Steele in the Class of 2019 — theirs will be the 20th class to be inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame.