Legendary Penn State Coach Gillian Rattray Passes

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Former Penn State field hockey and lacrosse coach Gillian Rattray passed away Thursday night at the age of 83, Penn State Athletics announced.

Rattray coached at Penn State from 1974-86 — guiding both programs to their first national titles. She led Nittany Lions women’s lacrosse to a three-peat of USWLA National Championships from 1978-80 and guided the field hockey team to the 1980 and 1981 AIAW National Championships — the only two national titles in program history.

The women’s sports pioneer at Penn State was credited with being “fiercely passionate about getting equal everything for her girls — scholarships, uniforms, equipment, training table.” She is a member of both the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame and National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Current field hockey coach Char Morett-Curtiss, who played for Rattray in both sports and eventually became her successor as the Nittany Lions head coach, says the five-time national champion is the reason she ended up at Penn State and eventually landed her “dream job.”

“I had so much respect for Gillian and I still do today,” Morett-Curtiss said prior to her PA Sports Hall of Fame induction in 2016. “I’m almost like her daughter and she’s like a mother to me.”

The Penn State community has been forever changed thanks to her work.

Rest in peace, Gillian.

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Steve Connelly

Steve Connelly is a junior majoring in PR and an editor for Onward State. He is a proud native of the state of New Jersey, and yes, he is literal trash. He is a soccer fan, nap enthusiast, and chicken tender connoisseur. He tried to be a photographer once, but the only good thing that came out of it is a name for his future sports bar, The Blurry Zamboni. You can follow him on Twitter @slc2o (feel free to slide) and email him at [email protected]

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