Elizabeth Ford, who completed her 12th season at the helm of The College of Wooster's women's lacrosse program this past spring, has been named interim head field hockey coach for the 2017 season. She'll be replacing longtime coach Brenda Meese, who is going on sabbatical as a faculty member.
"I am very happy Coach Ford has accepted the offer to serve as interim head field hockey coach during the upcoming season," said Keith Beckett, Director of Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation. "In addition to Elizabeth's significant coaching experience, she is constantly exploring and testing new methodologies and pedagogical approaches to enhance her coaching. That sense of innovation, coupled with her experience and passion provide excitement and significant possibility during this year of transition."
Continued Beckett, "It is often easy to proceed with a process and mentality that is capsulated and limited in vision. As we have in the past, we explored innovative solutions to maximize the opportunities and experiences for the team, as well as further foster the field hockey program's strong traditions. I am very enthusiastic about this decision. Coach Ford's commitment and dedication to competitive excellence is evident through her recruiting, leadership, and quality coaching."
Ford will be taking over a team with 11 returning letterwinners, including the entire starting back line. In fact, Ford's already super familiar with two of the field hockey returnees as sophomore Emma Hambright and junior Rose Taylor are student-athletes on the women's lacrosse team. Ford's also no stranger to the field hockey program, as she previously served as an assistant coach during the 1998 season, and then again from 2005-07.
"I am looking forward to working with Missy (Ramsey) as the team transitions over the next year," said Ford. "It will be exciting to be involved with field hockey once more. I know the team has a lot of success to build off from last season, and with the student-athletes' time with Coach Meese at the helm."
Wooster went 9-10 last year, including an even 7-7 mark in North Coast Athletic Conference play. That marked a three-win improvement from the year before, and the Scots just missed out on the four-team league tournament. Notable, Wooster's 2-1 win over Ohio Wesleyan University on Oct. 19 marked Meese's 300th win as the Fighting Scots' head coach.
The Scots' field hockey program has been one of the best in the NCAC and region during the 2000s. Wooster's won six of the 17 conference titles in the 2000s, highlighted by 2006 when the Scots marched through the league's regular season undefeated (12-0), and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances between 2008-10.
Ford was a four-year starter in field hockey at perennial national power Rowan University, where she helped the Profs to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.
As a lacrosse coach, Ford's teams have amassed a 132-61-1 record during her 12-year tenure, and the Scots have won three conference championships.
Ford will be assisted by Missy Ramsey, who enters her third year as the program's assistant coach. Ramsey offers further expertise to coaching and competition strategy.
Meese's research interests center around the history of women's athletics at the College. Upon returning from her sabbatical, she'll be able to focus on teaching and research.
A national search for Wooster's next head coach will take place during the 2017-18 academic year.