‘It’s The Right Time’: Penn State Field Hockey Preparing For New Beginnings With New Head Coach

Following Penn State field hockey’s head coach Char Morett-Curtiss’ retirement on February 15, the program named former associate head coach Lisa Bervinchak-Love as the new leader of the program.

Morett-Curtiss was bittersweet about the decision to move on, but it all came down to the future for the storied coach.

“It was more about ‘It’s the right time,’” Morett-Curtiss said. “It’s the right time for me, for [Bervinchak-Love] and [Laura Gebhart] to take over. It’s the right time for the program.”

Penn State field hockey was led by Morett-Curtiss for 36 years, and the amount of love and support from around the Penn State and field hockey community has been overwhelming for the legendary coach.

“This past week, just the outpouring of support and texts from so many of our Penn State field hockey family members and just alums,” Morett-Curtiss said. “It’s been very rewarding and emotional.”

Since her first season as Penn State’s coach in 1987, Morett-Curtiss has totaled 541 wins and even has a top-five spot on the NCAA’s all-time career wins. She earned the Big Ten Coach of the Year honor seven times, too.

While Morett-Curtiss has surely been the backbone of the Nittany Lions, she also accredited much of the triumphs to her counterpart, Bervinchak-Love.

The two have been running Penn State’s program for the past 29 years, so the transition is expected to be nothing short of seamless.

“She knows what’s going to make Penn State field hockey successful and the core values that we have talked about with the team,” Morett-Curtiss said.

Bervinchak-Love has an impressive resume of her own, appearing in 23 NCAA Tournaments beside Morett-Curtiss.

Morett-Curtiss commended Bervinchak-Love on her gratitude and respect, for being a great mentor, and for representing the core values of the program.

“Hopefully, I can continue the tradition and honor her legacy and just look forward to the next chapter,” Bervinchak-Love said.

Moving forward from coaching, Morett-Curtiss is planning to stay with Penn State Athletics and focus on an advisory role for the department.

Morett-Curtiss has seen a number of notable Penn State names come through the university, but a huge shoutout was made to legendary football head coach Joe Paterno.

“Joe Paterno really gave this university its visibility and its integrity because so much emphasis was on the right perspective with academics and athletics being the forefront of their experience here,” Morett-Curtiss said.

She plans to take Paterno’s philosophy and integrate it into women’s sports for years to come.

“When you come to Penn State, it’s not just going to be for your experience. We’re going to get you in touch with all these other women that have worn the blue and white uniforms and help you continue in your career path,” Morett-Curtiss said.

The commitment and dedication to both Penn State and these athletes’ respective sports is something that should be recognized on another level by Athletics, she explained.

“I think with the growth and the success of our women’s athletics programs here at Penn State that it’s time to make it more visible,” Morett-Curtiss said.

The progression of the program, and the continued connection with Morett-Curtiss, is just the next step for the renowned team.

Bervinchak-Love and the Nittany Lions will be back in their newly renovated complex this fall for another season of Penn State field hockey.

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a senior staff writer majoring in English and public relations. She loves all things sports and anything that has peanut butter. You can usually find her obsessing over country music or Penn State wrestling and counting down the days until she gets to see Luke Combs in Beaver Stadium. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara, and for more formal affairs, her email is [email protected].

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