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Head Coach: Sharon Sweger

In just three seasons at the helm of the Blue Jays, Sharon Sweger has instituted one of the most drastic turnarounds in the history of Elizabethtown College athletics. Taking over a team in 2004 that had finished just 7-13 in 2003 and had lost many of its key players to graduation, Etown finished 4-16 in 2004. Then, with one year to adjust to Sweger's system and the influx of her first recruiting class in 2005, the Blue Jays finished 13-5 and were nationally ranked throughtout much of the season. Etown advanced to the semifinals of the Commonwealth Conference playoffs in 2005, and the Blue Jays finished the season with a final national ranking of 17th. In just her second season as Etown's head coach, Sweger was named the Commonwealth Conference's Coach of the Year.

Sweger's third year at the helm in 2006 proved even more successful, as the Blue Jays went 16-6 overall, again were nationally ranked for most of the season, and advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time since 1988. There, the Blue Jays earned their win in the NCAA tournament since 1987. Sweger again won the Commonwealth Conference's Coach of the Year award at the end of the season.

An influential person in field hockey at both the local and national levels, Sweger was the head field hockey coach at Hempfield High School outside Lancaster, Pa. from 1977 to 1995, and she was an assistant field hockey coach at York College (Pa.) from 1996 to 1998. She then served as the United States Field Hockey Association's (USFHA) Regional Coaching Director for Pennsylvania, where she was responsible for organizing the PA Regional Futures Tournament, organizing a coaches' training course, serving on the USFHA National Futures Committee, and overseeing the development of over 800 elite athletes.

Sweger has also been a Junior Olympics coach since 1999. The program draws from the best under-16 players from around the country, and her Junior Olympic team won the bronze medal in a tournament in Iowa in the first week of August 2004.

Looking back on her coaching career prior to the start of her first season at Etown, Sweger noted, "I have been very fortunate to always work with outstanding student-athletes. It's a dream come true for me to be able stay in Lancaster County and coach at the collegiate level. I'm very excited."

That excitement has since carried over to the Elizabethtown field hockey program as a whole.

E-mail coach Sweger at swegers@etown.edu