1000 Wins and a Lifetime of Impact

Oct 28, 2021 | 2021-2022, Blog

A Legend and League of her Own

Coach Sue Butz-Stavin is a field hockey legend. Her leadership, career, and success at Emmaus High School have generated an impact that will be felt throughout the Lehigh Valley for generations to come. Sue has led the Emmaus field fockey team in Emmaus, Pennsylvania for 46 years. With 13 state titles under her belt, the NFHCA Hall of Famer hit the incredible milestone of 1,000 wins this fall. Recognized as the winningest field hockey coach in U.S. history, her accolades are unmatched.

She credits her success to her players. When asked about her recipe for success, Sue shared her “enjoyment of coaching to develop players and people” as the main ingredient. “The dedication, sacrifices, commitment, and perseverance to be the best they can be, play unified as a team, and enjoy the moment” is what fuels her, along with watching her players making lifetime friendships off the field.

Coach Sue Butz-Stavin

A History of Hockey

Growing up around field hockey, Sue’s mother, Lucy Henry Butz, played at Cedar Crest College from 1944 to 1947 and was a field hockey official in the Lehigh Valley. “When I was a youngster, I would sit on the sideline watching Muhlenberg College, Cedar Crest College, and Moravian College play,” said Sue. “I loved playing sports. I was happy to be part of the inaugural 1969 program at William Allen High School in Allenstown, Pennsylvania.” Sue went on to play one year at West Chester State College. “I realized that my experience was not up to par with the Philly-area players in college,” remembered Sue. She then pivoted into officiating and coaching.  “Being a health and physical education major, I was required to take officiating courses for graduation.” While a student-teacher at Nether Providence Middle School, Sue coached the sixth-grade field hockey team and recorded her first undefeated season with 10 wins and zero losses in her coaching debut.

When asked what Sue would share with the next generation of field hockey coaches, she noted “passion for the sport and development of our youth” as essential. “Players develop life skills they will always have past high school and college play.” She also mentioned the commitment necessary for success, “it’s a total commitment and you must be willing to make sacrifices, balancing family and life.” In addition to her mom, Sue credits, Chester County Sports Hall of Famer and former Team USA player, Judy Smiley Wolstenholme, hockey legend and former Team USA Field Hockey coach, Vonnie Gross, and Duke University basketball great, “Coach K,” as her coaching inspirations.

One thousand wins are no easy feat in any sport for any coach. Sue’s accomplishments and influence go well beyond the field of play. The NFHCA is excited to celebrate Sue’s achievements and thank her for her continued impact on the game.

The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is a nonprofit organization serving field hockey coaches and supporters of the game from across the United States. The mission of the organization is to stimulate the professional development of coaching leadership within the sport of field hockey. The NFHCA strives to cultivate and recognize the professional contributions of its membership and to foster and promote the growth of the sport. The NFHCA is responsible for providing a recognizable presence and voice in regard to legislation affecting the sport as well as interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.