Diane Chapman chosen for NFHCA Hall of Fame

Aug 11, 2020 | 2020-2021, Division III, News

BROCKPORT, N.Y. — The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is pleased to announce that Diane Chapman, recently retired varsity head coach at Garden City High School in New York, will be inducted to the NFHCA Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2020.

Through tenure and success, Chapman has etched her legacy in New York state athletic history. Chapman recently retired from coaching after 29 seasons with the Garden City High School field hockey program where she amassed a 473-41-23 record. She is one of only a few coaches in New York to be among the top-five winningest coaches in two varsity sports, field hockey and lacrosse.

Chapman, or “Chappy” as most know her, has won 20 coach-of-the-year awards, seven New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) state championships, and 22 Long Island Class B championships. This Hall of Fame induction will be her fifth.

“Diane had an incredible coaching career highlighted by a .94 winning percentage and a staggering 473 wins,” remarked NFHCA first vice-president and chair of the NFHCA Awards and Hall of Fame Committee, Chrissy Summers. “The enormous impact she’s had on her athletes, her community, and this sport is astounding. Our organization is excited to honor her this year and give her alumni an excuse to celebrate her in person next year as well. A colleague referred to her as “coach of the universe” and we agree!”

“I am very honored to be inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame,” said Chapman. “I have loved this sport as a player and a coach for a very long time and to be recognized in this way is surreal.”

Winning Ways

During Chapman’s 29 years as the varsity head coach of the Garden City High School field hockey team, the Trojans collected seven NYSPHSAA state championships, 22 Long Island Class B championships, and 25 Section VIII championships with 18 of those titles coming in consecutive years from 1994 to 2011. The Trojan’s also appeared in the NYSPHSAA final four 22 times.

Chapman’s program landed on NYSPHSAA and National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) consecutive-win record lists twice, first with 61 consecutive wins between 1998 and 2000, and then with 58 consecutive wins between 2005 and 2007.

Her winning ways were not limited to field hockey alone — Chapman also coached lacrosse at Garden City for 18 years. As the lacrosse coach, she piled on more wins — 314 to be exact — and ten more state titles.

Her success garnered at least 20 coach-of-the-year awards from organizations like the NFHCA, NYSPHSAA, the Nassau County Sports Commission, Newsday, and topofthecircle.com. In 2019, Newsday — Long Island’s newspaper — named her the coach of the decade.

The NFHCA Hall of Fame will be Chapman’s fifth induction, she also graces the Nassau County High School Athletic Hall of Fame, the Nassau County Field Hockey Hall of Fame, the NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame, and the Long Island Metropolitan Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

On and Off the Pitch

Beyond on-the-field coaching and teaching, Chapman has given back to the sport in other ways as well. She served on six local field hockey committees for 29 years — working to provide local field hockey players with quality events and a fair, sporting environment. One of the committees on which she served since 2003, the Section 8 Play4TheCure Committee, was integral in raising over $10,000 for the National Foundation for Cancer Research in 2019 alone.

Aside from formal service, Chapman also provided indispensable mentorship to local coaches and educators for over 30 years.

When she retired from both sports this year — as well as from her teaching position at nearby Levittown School District — she walked away with a combined 17 state titles and over 700 wins.

Those accomplishments just skim the surface of what Chappy has done in Garden City. According to long-time Section VIII coordinator and New York State Field Hockey Committee member, Barbara Sellers, “Diane’s depth of character makes her uniquely deserving of induction to the NFHCA Hall of Fame. Diane’s success in coaching goes well being the physical development of young field hockey players. She feels a moral responsibility to instill in her athletes the importance of teamwork, the development of fair play, and the responsibility of team and community pride. Her athletes know that good character, integrity, and high academic standards are more important than state championships.”

The Hall

Chapman will be officially inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame — along with classmate, Penny Kempf — at the next in-person NFHCA Awards Dinner.

The NFHCA Hall of Fame was established in 1999 to honor exceptional field hockey coaches, administrators, and umpires for their success on and off the field. The class of 2020 will be the 21st cohort to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.