The Shippensburg University field hockey team, fresh off a national championship, announced Tara Zollinger as the new head coach Tuesday, following the retirement of Hall of Fame coach Bertie Landes.
Zollinger will take over as head coach for the Raiders, following one of the team’s most successful seasons in school history.
For Zollinger, winning is nothing new.
The 2013 graduate from the University of Maryland won two Division I National Championships as a player, and picked up a third as an assistant coach at Syracuse University. Zollinger spent the last four seasons under one of the most decorated coaches in collegiate field hockey, Ange Bradley.
Bradley, a two-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association Coach of the Year, mentored Zollinger, who took on roles overseeing recruitment and offensive set pieces including penalty corners.
While Zollinger’s resume looks impressive, her reputation as a leader and a coach also comes with the high standard that Shippensburg is used to maintaining.
"I congratulate Shippensburg on their ability to identify and recognize the talent and intangibles Tara has to offer as a coach," Bradley told SU Sports Information. "She is a committed, dedicated professional.”
Zollinger has some significant shoes to fill, is well trained and prepared for the task.
“I am eager to begin, and I'm excited to build upon the rich tradition of excellence that coach Landes has instilled and the pride that Shippensburg field hockey embodies," Zollinger told SU Sports Information.
As an assistant, Zollinger’s 2015 campaign at Syracuse was one of the most impressive in school history. The Orange put up a 16–0 record in the regular season and went perfect in the postseason, defeating the Tar Heels of North Carolina, 4–2, in the finals.
Syracuse’s perfect season was the first in 25 years, and the team’s sweep of the ACC was the first since North Carolina University’s in 1994. Zollinger joins SU fresh off of a national title of its own, and with a strong senior class in the 2017 season, Zollinger and the Raiders will look to repeat the same feat.
“I am incredibly honored to be the next head field hockey coach at Shippensburg University,” Zollinger said. “I am grateful to [SU’s Athletic Director] Jeff Michaels, Associate Director of Athletics Carrie Michaels and the entire search committee for the opportunity to lead this championship program.”
Zollinger has acquired a multitude of different field hockey experiences in her young career. Zollinger spent part of her senior season in high school training with an Argentinian team in Buenos Aires. She also traveled to Perth, Australia and Barcelona, Spain to play and coach players of different ages.
With Zollinger’s colorful background and championship history, she will look to bring some of her skills and strategies to Shippensburg. As a native of Jeannette, Pennsylvania, Zollinger should feel right at home as the new head coach of the Raiders.