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UConn field hockey coach Nancy Stevens retires

One of the greatest coaches in school history hangs up her whistle.

Pato Jerzak

UConn field hockey coach Nancy Stevens announced her retirement on Friday, walking away as the winningest coach in the NCAA field hockey history. Paul Caddy, a 20-year assistant under Stevens, will take over the program. Stevens will remained involved as a volunteer coach.

“After 43 years as a collegiate coach, I have decided to announce my retirement. It has been my great privilege to lead the UConn Huskies for the past 30 years and I look forward to supporting our remarkable student-athletes as their volunteer assistant coach this year,” Stevens said in a release. “The future for UConn field hockey couldn’t be any brighter and I am so proud to have been a part of its enduring legacy. Go Huskies!”

Over her 30-year career as a head coach at UConn, Stevens guided the Huskies to national championships in 2013, 2014 and 2017. Under her, UConn reached 24 NCAA Tournaments — including the last 17 — 18 NCAA Quarterfinals and 10 Final Fours. She also won 19 Big East Tournament titles and 19 Big East regular season championships. Stevens helped to produce 50 All-Americans and the Huskies were also ranked No. 1 in the country in five different seasons — 1999 and 2015-19 with her at the helm.

Stevens won the NFHCA National Coach of the Year three times and the Big East Coach of the Year 13 times. She’s also a NFHCA Hall of Famer.

In total, Stevens retires with a 700-189-24 record — the only coach in NCAA history to reach 700 wins.

“Nancy has had a legendary career and has positively impacted countless student-athletes,” director of athletics David Benedict said in the release. “UConn field hockey has been a tremendous source of pride for the university community for decades and we are all grateful to Nancy for her leadership.”

Prior to UConn, Stevens was the head coach at Northwestern from 1982-89 and served as an assistant lacrosse coach.

During that time, Stevens also worked with USA Field Hockey, where she coached the US Junior National Team from 1982-84 and was part of the senior team coaching staff from 1982-90.

Before Northwestern, Stevens coached field hockey and lacrosse at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. Her first coaching job came at Penn State, where she was an assistant field hockey and lacrosse coach while she received her master’s in sports psychology. A 1976 graduate of West Chester University, Stevens won an AIAW national championship as a player in 1975. She also played for the US National Team from 1974-79.

Stevens will retire from UConn as one of the greatest coaches in the school’s history — a tall feat considering some of the legendary names that have come through Storrs. Her three national championships are tied with Jim Calhoun for the second-most all-time at UConn, behind only Geno Auriemma.

In recent years, the Huskies have been one of the most dominant programs in the country. UConn hasn’t lost a conference game since 2013 and over that span, the team had a 150-17 record — including a perfect 23-0 mark in 2017.


After spending two decades on the sideline with Stevens, Paul Caddy will take over as the Huskies’ new head coach.

“Elevating Paul to the head coaching position was an easy choice though as he learned a great deal, and contributed greatly to the success of the program, over the last 20 years,” Benedict said. “Paul is up to the challenge of succeeding a legend. I am thrilled that Nancy will remain connected to the program in a volunteer assistant coach capacity as Paul, and the entire program, will continue to benefit from her expertise.”

“I am honored to follow Nancy and the legacy she has built here at UConn,” Caddy said in the release. ”I am fortunate to have coached 20 years here at UConn mentored by Nancy. Who better to learn from than a 3 time National Champion and the winningest coach in NCAA Division I field hockey history? I am excited to continue the tradition of excellence Nancy, Cheri and I have created here at UConn.”

A native of England, Caddy worked at Quinnipiac and Ohio State before he came to UConn. He’s spent the last 10 seasons as Stevens’ associate head coach, where he worked with “defense and player/team development, including technical and tactical advancements,” according to the school’s website.