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Dottie Potter Zenaty Announces Retirement

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Dec. 10, 2003 – Springfield College head field hockey coach and associate professor of physical education Dottie Potter Zenaty announced that she is retiring at the conclusion of the 2003-2004 academic year.

“I decided that it was time,” says Zenaty, who coached the college’s field hockey team for 34 seasons. “Traditionally, I announce the captains for the upcoming season at the end-of-the-season banquet, which was held last Saturday. I told the team that I teach in my ‘Principles and Problems of Coaching’ class that a coach shouldn’t elect or select captains for the next season if the coach is not going to be returning. At that point, I gave notice of my retirement and told the players that we would have a team meeting on Monday afternoon to talk about the announcement and to answer any questions.”

“I’ve began at Springfield College when I was a teenager,” adds Zenaty, who received her bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1965 and lettered in four sports at SC. “I bleed maroon and white.”

Zenaty coached 653 matches at Springfield College, more than any other coach in college field hockey history. With a record of 377-233-43 (.610 winning percentage), she’s won more matches than any coach in New England and ranks fifth on college field hockey’s all-time victory list. Zenaty led the Pride to a 139-69-2 record since moving to Division III in 1995, including three NCAA Tournaments in the last six seasons. After making the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance ever in 1997, SC reached the national semifinals in 1999 and the NCAA final in 2000. In 2001, the Pride won the ECAC Division III New England Championship en route to a 19-7 record – one victory short of the Pride’s fourth-straight 20-win season. From 1970 to 1994, Springfield College competed as a non-scholarship Division I program in field hockey. Despite playing programs that offered field hockey scholarships, Zenaty’s teams had a 238-164-41 mark.

Zenaty will be inducted in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame on January 9 in Baltimore.

In 1988, Zenaty assisted with the selection of the U.S. Olympic Team, which competed in Seoul, South Korea, and, prior to the Olympic Games, she accompanied the national team to Perth, Australia, for an international competition. In 1989, she served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Junior Under-21 Team that competed in the first World Cup Championship in Ottawa, Canada, and coached the Junior National squad in the Pan American Games in Argentina.

In 1990, she was named the College Field Hockey Coaches Association (CFHCA) Division I Coach of the Year and was also inducted into the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame. She was honored at the NCAA Division I Championship as part of the NCAA’s 10th Anniversary of Women’s Athletics for her contributions as a coach, clinician, NCAA committee member, and chairperson/administrator of the national championship. In the summer of 1997, Zenaty coached the U.S. Under-18 Team at the Montreal Cup in Canada.

Zenaty has coached in five U.S. Olympic Sports Festivals, supervised four NCAA Division I championships, including two on the Springfield College campus, and was instrumental in getting the 2001 and 2002 NCAA Division III National Championships to SC. She served on the executive board of the U.S. Field Hockey Association for seven years and as chairperson of the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Committee. In 1997, the U.S. Olympic Committee named Zenaty the Field Hockey Developmental Coach of the Year.

A native of Foxboro, Mass., Zenaty was a member of the first Springfield College field hockey team in 1963. She received her bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1965 and lettered in four sports (basketball, field hockey, softball and tennis) at Springfield. Upon graduation, she coached the women’s basketball, field hockey and softball teams at Holliston (Mass.) High for three years. She led the field hockey and softball teams to three league championships each, and her girl’s basketball squad captured a league title. In 1969, she was appointed head field hockey coach at Westfield State (Mass.) College, and guided the Owls to the Massachusetts State Championship before returning to her alma mater in 1970.

Zenaty was selected to serve as Springfield College’s Distinguished Professor of Humanics for the 2003-2004 academic year. This appointment honors the contributions of a faculty member and promotes the values of the college’s Humanics philosophy, which stresses education of the whole person – spirit, mind and body – for leadership in service to others.

Many of Zenaty’s former players are now serving as field hockey coaches on the college and high school levels. Springfield College standout Pam Hixon, a 1973 graduate, was the head coach of the United States Olympic Team that competed in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Zenaty has taken her Springfield College teams on seven international trips to locales including Barbados, England, Ireland, Germany, and Belgium. In May 2004, she will take her team to Holland.

Springfield College will do a national search for Zenaty’s replacement.
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Melissa Sharpe After nine years as head coach of the Pride, Melissa Sharpe has continued the tradition of winning on the field hockey turf, posting an impressive 130-68 record, good for a winning percentage of .656 at the helm of her alma mater. Read more.

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