Jane DeGrenier to be recognized with NFHCA’s Junior Hockey Award
BROCKPORT, N.Y. — The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is proud to announce that Jane DeGrenier, head coach of the National Cathedral School and club director of Southeast Storm, will receive the Junior Hockey Award this year.
“Jane is clearly a lifetime advocate of the game. As a high school and club coach, her decades of service have allowed her to connect with thousands of athletes,” remarked NFHCA first vice-president and chair of the NFHCA Awards and Hall of Fame Committee, Chrissy Summers. “Her club, Southeast Storm, has created access for athletes with scholarships and continues to focus on a strong development program in addition to maintaining nationally competitive club teams.”
“I feel blessed. I feel lucky. I feel grateful,” said DeGrenier. “Being in quarantine has allowed me some downtime and I have reflected a lot about what the sport has meant to me, where it has taken me, the opportunities it has provided for me, and the joy it has brought me. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to share these memories with coaches, teammates, family members, and, most importantly, my players.”
Southeast Storm is a field hockey club based in the D.C. Metro area that was founded in 2005. She created the club at the request of two moms who were looking for a place for their daughters to play in a supportive, encouraging, and challenging environment.
Over the 15 years since its founding, Southeast Storm has grown to support over 250 athletes and coaches. The club offers development, academy, and club programs with the goal of providing an environment for field hockey athletes — at any level — to excel. DeGrenier noted that as the program has grown, Storm has been able to add programming for the U8, U10, U12, and U14 levels.
Athletes at Southeast Storm come to DeGrenier with a variety of goals, from improving their basic skills, to being prepared for a tryout, learning more about the game, or playing in college. DeGrenier sees every goal as important and attainable. “My goal is to provide opportunities for players and my philosophy has always been that if there is a player who wants to play, he or she will always have a place at Storm.”
DeGrenier has coached at Division I and Division III institutions up and down the east coast, from Ithaca College to the University of Richmond. Twenty-five years ago, she decided to move away from the collegiate system to focus on youth development. That decision led to a 25-year coaching career at the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. and at Southeast Storm.
As both a teacher and a coach, DeGrenier has been able to impact students and athletes from kindergarteners to seniors in high school. “I believe my dual roles are integral in allowing me to reach more athletes and teach them about this great game that we all love,” said DeGrenier. “I always find it exciting when a player has that lightbulb moment of realizing ‘this is my thing’ — I remember when it happened to me and I have always loved helping players find that connection.”
The NFHCA Junior Hockey Award was created in 2011 as a way to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to the maintenance or development of a junior field hockey program.
DeGrenier will be presented with the Junior Hockey Award at the next in-person NFHCA Awards Dinner. DeGrenier is the ninth recipient of the NFHCA’s Junior Hockey Award — Kerri (Withrow) Valentine received the award last year.