GILBERT, Ariz. — This year’s NFHCA Awards Dinner sponsored by AstroTurf will recognize four exceptional women who have devoted their lives to the sport of field hockey. Eileen Donahue, Enza Steele, and Cynthia Wetmore will be inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame and Nancy Cox will receive the NFHCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards ceremony will take place on the evening of Thursday, January 16, 2020 during the NFHCA Annual Convention in Lake Mary, Florida.
This year’s Class of 2019 will be the 20th class inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame. The first class, the Class of 2000, was inducted in 2001 and includes Beth Anders, former head field hockey coach at Old Dominion University, and Sharon Sarsen, the current field hockey coach at Lakeland High School in Shrub Oak, New York.
As a group, the Class of 2019 has earned over 1,500 wins and has decades of field hockey coaching experience.
The first inductee, Eileen Donahue, will begin her 33rd season at the helm of the Watertown High School field hockey program — a team she’s led since 1986. Her tenure with Watertown is full of record-breaking performances and a dominance enjoyed by only a handful of coaches in the history of high school sports. Donahue’s career record — compiled entirely at Watertown — currently stands at 662-32-46. Captured in those 662 wins are 18 Massachusetts Division 2 State titles, 25 Division 2 North titles, and 28 Middlesex League titles.
Enza Steele is entering her 41st season at the helm of the University of Lynchburg field hockey program. She has led the Hornets to 19 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championships and has taken her team to the NCAA tournament 20 times, advancing to the quarterfinals three times. In her four decades on the Lynchburg sidelines, Steele has racked up an impressive 584-228-11 record. She currently ranks second in most victories among active NCAA Division III coaches and ranks fifth in victories across active coaches in all divisions.
Cynthia 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. Throughout her time at Cortland, Wetmore led a Red Dragon program that lofted 13 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) trophies, made 13 NCAA tournament appearances, and celebrated an NCAA Division III National Championship in 2001.
The NFHCA’s second-ever Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Nancy Cox, is being recognized for her service to the sport of field hockey. Cox has spent her life giving back to the sport at nearly every level. Her coaching resume to date includes 17 years as the head coach at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, five years as the assistant coach at the University of Michigan, four years as the head coach at the University of Michigan, two years as the head coach at Ann Arbor Huron High School, and 10 years as the owner and director of Pinnacle Field Hockey. She balanced a prolific coaching career while also umpiring at the high school and NCAA Division I levels, coaching a multitude of United States Field Hockey Association programs, and working as an occupational therapist with the University of Michigan hospital system.
Each award winner was nominated by their peers and selected by the NFHCA Hall of Fame and Awards Committee.
“I would like to thank the Awards Committee for its outstanding attention to detail and preparation for our call,” remarked NFHCA First Vice-President, Julie Ryan, who has completed her term as the chair of the NFHCA Awards and Hall of Fame Committee. “It has been an absolute pleasure serving as the chair of this committee and with an outstanding group of coaches. It has also been an honor learning about each of the nominees for all of our NFHCA awards over the last four years.”
The Awards Dinner sponsored by AstroTurf will serve as the culmination of the 2020 NFHCA Annual Convention. Guests of the award winners who are not attending the NFHCA Annual Convention will be able to purchase dinner-only tickets prior to the event. Admission to the Awards Dinner is included in the 2020 NFHCA Annual Convention registration.