Fresh from the Field

 

Interim field hockey coach Marcia Ingraham '02 can relate to her players. After all, they were her teammates.

By Anne Marie Sears '03
 

Marcia Ingraham'02, interim head coach for field hockey and women's lacrosse, faced an interesting challenge this season,coaching her former teammates. As a student-athlete, Ingraham, an American studies major from Massachusetts, was one of Colby's top players. She was a NESCAC first-team all-star in field hockey and a two-time All-America selection in lacrosse. She thought about getting into coaching during her senior year and was hired for the assistant coaching position for both sports at Colby for the following season. "I figured that there was no better place to start than my alma mater, where I was already familiar with the program," she said. Having coached at summer camps in both sports and leading her teammates on the field, Ingraham was ready.
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As assistant coach last year, Ingraham was in charge of recruiting and admissions ratings and also got a lot of coaching experience. Last fall she took on a lot more: practice planning, game plans, away travel and, perhaps trickiest, assuming an official leadership role for players with whom she used to share the field. "It was definitely a challenge, and I think that it took a lot for the girls . . . having played with me as one of their teammates and then having to turn around and take advice from me as a coach," Ingraham said. "They were very receptive to me, and I think it was pretty successful."

The players, having looked up to her as a teammate, eased the transition. Field hockey co-captain Injoo Han '04 said that as a player Ingraham was a terrific role model. "It was not surprising that Marcia out of any of the other girls in her class would be the one to end up coaching us in the future. . . .Her fellow teammates always looked to her for advice and leadership," Han said.

The field hockey team finished its 35th season well. This year's Mules went 9-6 and were ranked fifth in NESCAC. Wendy Bonner '05 was named third-team All-America, the only Colby field hockey player to receive that honor twice.

So what's next for Coach Ingraham? "I feel that there's a lot of things that could dictate my future right now. I'm debating whether I'll stay here or go pursue [a master's]," she said. While she's looking into graduate programs, she also wants to keep coaching.

"I feel like I've really been honored to be able to continue to work with a program that was so great to me, and it just means a lot to me personally to be involved with both the field hockey and the lacrosse programs here," Ingraham said.