Honorary Member Highlight: Char Morett-Curtiss a Field Hockey Luminary and Olympian
GENEVA, N.Y. — As The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) continues to champion excellence in athletics, we are thrilled to announce the involvement of Char Morett-Curtiss, the esteemed former coach of Penn State University’s field hockey team, in the new initiative Teammates for Life. Renowned as a legendary figure in collegiate field hockey, Morett-Curtiss’s three-decade coaching career has left an indelible mark on the sport, earning her recognition as an Honorary Member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) and an inductee into the NFHCA Hall of Fame. Celebrated for her achievements as an Olympian, she now embarks on an exciting new chapter as a key player in the Teammates for Life initiative.
As part of our ongoing commitment to spotlighting influential figures within the NFHCA, we are thrilled to showcase Char Morett-Curtiss and explore the exciting new chapter she is embarking upon after her coaching career.
“Penn State Launches Teammates For Life
New Women’s Athletics Initiative will support student-athletes by leveraging the University’s vast alumni network
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., August 31, 2023 – Penn State Athletics announced the introduction of Teammates For Life, a Women’s Athletics Initiative created to celebrate, elevate and engage past, present and future women athletes of Penn State University. The first-of-its-kind effort will be led by recently-retired, legendary Penn State Field Hockey Coach Char Morett Curtiss.
According to Morett Curtiss, Teammates For Life will prioritize the importance of relationships, with a commitment toward building life-long bonds across generations of successful Penn State women. “I came to Penn State as a student-athlete in 1975; then returned in 1987 as head coach, and never left,” said Morett Curtiss. “All of the opportunities and achievements I’ve enjoyed in my career can be traced back to my Penn State roots and the women who supported me. I believe strongly in helping to build those connections for today’s and tomorrow’s student athletes.”
Teammates For Life will:
- encourage wide-range support of all 14 Penn State women’s athletics teams through attendance of home and away contests;
- provide programming to help female student-athletes successfully balance academics and athletics; and
- connect female student-athletes and alumni for mentorship, job coaching, and networking opportunities.
“Penn State female alums are everywhere AND everything – they are coaches, doctors, nurses, lawyers, actors, community leaders, athletes, teachers, professors, politicians, writers, broadcasters, executives, scientists and more,” said Penn State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Patrick Kraft. “With Char’s leadership, this Women’s Athletics Initiative will harness that power, and share it with our female student-athletes. We want to leverage it all to connect our student-athletes with alumni in strong and meaningful ways to truly create teammates for life.”
Among the first connection points will be alumni networking events scheduled throughout the fall in State College, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City and Washington, DC. Additionally, Teammates For Life will sponsor on-campus student-athlete career fairs, professional development programming and high-profile speaking engagements throughout the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters.
“Penn State is fully committed to supporting our student-athletes on and off the field, and Teammates For Life will reinforce the lifelong success of our female athletes by harnessing the incredible power of the University’s global alumni network and the critical importance of community, mentorship, and women supporting women,” said Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi. “Throughout my own career, I have benefited from the support and mentorship of my fellow women, and I am excited for this new initiative that will support our women student athletes to help them find success throughout their academic, athletic, and professional careers.”
With 14 active women’s athletics programs, Penn State boasts a total of 21 national championship titles and a lengthy track record of supporting women’s athletics. The University initiated its women’s athletics program in 1964-65, sanctioning women’s collegiate varsity level competition eight years ahead of the 1972 passage of Title IX. Today, Penn State offers women’s teams in: basketball, cross country, field hockey, fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
“Through Teammates For Life, we are committed to delivering the best student-athlete experience in the country. We aim to position Penn State as home to THE most prominent, supportive and successful collegiate women’s athletics programs,” concluded Morett Curtiss. “I have no doubt that this Initiative will become a difference-maker in recruiting, mentoring, job placement and fundraising, ultimately translating into big wins for Penn State on and off the field.”
Morett Curtiss is supported by a Teammates For Life Advisory Board comprised of: E. Lee Beard, Susan Robinson-Fruchtl, Tara Hohenshelt, Elizabeth King, Maura Pilewicz, Maribeth Roman Schmidt and Brandi Stewart.
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 association is to champion, strengthen, and celebrate field hockey coaches and the game. The NFHCA strives to be the organization that every field hockey coach looks to for the resources to grow in the game and the inspiration to stay in the game.