Renée Toliver: Carrying the Torch for NFHCA’s Scholastic Sector

Apr 16, 2024 | 2023-2024, Blog

Photo Credit: Joseph Antoine

By Laurie Temple, NFHCA Digital Communications Specialist

Manahawkin, NJ – In the National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s (NFHCA) ongoing series highlighting exceptional service during National Volunteer Month, we turn our focus to Renée Toliver, decorated head coach of Shawnee High School in Medford, New Jersey, and longstanding NFHCA member and volunteer.

For seventeen years, Toliver has been a pillar of leadership at Shawnee High School, steering the field hockey team to remarkable success. With an impressive record of 258 wins, 81 losses, and nine ties, her tenure as head coach has been marked by numerous accolades, including leading the team to victory in the 2010 New Jersey Group IV Central Championship. However, her contributions extend far beyond the playing field.

Toliver’s journey to coaching excellence began with her stellar career as a standout player at Rowan University. As a member of the Division III National Championship Team in 2002, Toliver’s prowess on the field was matched by her academic achievements, earning recognition as a member of the NFHCA National Academic Squad for four consecutive years. Her dedication and skill were further honored with accolades such as the 2002 New Jersey Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Transitioning from player to mentor, Toliver’s commitment to the sport led her to engage actively with the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). Over her seventeen-year membership, Toliver has assumed various roles within the organization, including most recently as the Scholastic Representative for the NFHCA Board of Directors. Her involvement in NFHCA committees such as the Scholastic All-Region and All-American Committee has not only enriched her own understanding of the sport but has also contributed to the growth and development of field hockey at both regional and national levels.

Beyond her contributions to the sport, Toliver’s impact as a world language teacher at Shawnee High School underscores her commitment to nurturing young minds both on and off the field. In a recent interview, Toliver reflected on her volunteer service with the NFHCA, emphasizing the importance of giving back to the community and inspiring others.

When asked about her motivations for volunteering, Toliver remarked, “I think it is important to give back to the community and help inspire others.” Her dedication to this ethos is evident in her extensive involvement with NFHCA committees, where she has played pivotal roles in organizing events and fostering a sense of camaraderie within the field hockey community.

Toliver’s passion for coaching extends beyond the realm of strategy and skill development; it encompasses a profound belief in the transformative power of sportsmanship and teamwork. “It is important for high school coaches to be part of their coaching community for support, professional development, and opportunities for their players,” Toliver emphasized.

Looking ahead, Toliver envisions a future where the NFHCA continues to thrive as a hub of excellence and camaraderie within the field hockey community. “In the last few years, we have made huge strides in the field hockey community through awards, professional development, support, and collegiality,” Toliver remarked. “It’s exciting to see where we’ve come from and know that the possibilities are endless for where we can go!”

In addition to her achievements on the field and her contributions to the NFHCA, Toliver’s interests outside of field hockey offer a glimpse into her multifaceted personality. From salsa dancing to knitting and reading, Toliver’s diverse hobbies reflect her zest for life and her continuous pursuit of growth and enrichment.

As a coach, mentor, and advocate for the sport she loves, Toliver embodies the spirit of leadership and dedication. Her legacy extends far beyond the wins and accolades, resonating in the lives of the countless athletes and students she has inspired and empowered along the way.

Thank you, Renée, for your continued volunteerism with the NFHCA, as well as your leadership in the evolution of our organization.

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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 champion, strengthen, and celebrate field hockey coaches and the game. 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.