Monday, December 13, 2010

Hlebichuk Named Division II North Region Coach of the Year

Ninth-Year Head Coach Recognized by Peers, National Field Hockey Coaches Association

LOWELL (Dec. 13, 2010) – UMass Lowell field hockey Head Coach Shannon Hlebichuk and her team have earned nearly every accolade imaginable this year, but the ninth-year coach can add another accomplishment to her resume: 2010 Dita/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division II North Region Coach of the Year.

The honor, announced by NFHCA Executive Director Jennifer Goodrich on Monday, is Hlebichuk’s fifth time capturing the title in nine years at the helm of the River Hawk program.

Hlebichuk and her team completed a perfect 24-0 National Championship season just over a week ago and although that was the most important and impressive accomplishment of the year, it certainly was not the only one.

As a team, the squad also captured Northeast-10 Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships and broke many program records including wins in a season (24), fewest losses in a season (0), most goals in a season (119), fewest goals allowed in a season (8), most shutouts in a season (17) and numerous individual offensive and defensive records, as well.

Hlebichuk coached six All-Americans, eight All-Conference players and the NE-10 and Division II North Region Player of the Year.  Her squad earned the No. 1 spot in the Kookaburra/NFHCA DII National Coaches Poll by season’s end and took home the program’s second National Championship and first since 2005, with a 1-0 win over Shippensburg on Dec. 4.

In her career, Hlebichuk has coached to a 162-42 record, two National Championships, seven NE-10 Championships and eight consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances.  She has also been named NE-10 Coach of the Year seven of her nine years at UMass Lowell.

Hlebichuk, a former River Hawk field hockey player herself, was a two-year captain of the squad and two-time All-American between 1994-98.  She was also named the NCAA Woman of the Year for Massachusetts during the 1997-98 season.  Upon graduation, she earned her Master’s Degree at Arizona State University.  Hlebichuk was also promoted to Assistant Athletic Director during the summer of 2010.

A native of Amesbury, Mass., Hlebichuk now resides in Nashua, N.H. with her husband Korey and daughter Liv.

The NFHCA also announced the South Region Coach of the Year on Monday, as it was awarded to Shippensburg’s Bertie Landes.  The 2010 Dita/NFHCA DII National Coach of the Year will be announced at the NFHCA Coaches Luncheon in Baltimore, Md. on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011.

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