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Legendary Penn State Coach Gillian Rattray Passes

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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About the Author

Steve Connelly

Unfortunately, former editor Steve Connelly has graduated. Where is he now? He might be doing something related to that PR degree he got in 2019. Maybe he finally opened that sports bar named after one of his photos, the Blurry Zamboni. Or he might just be eating chicken tenders and couch surfing. Anything’s possible. If you really want to know, follow him on Twitter @slc2o.

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