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Jan. 19, 2006

Michele Madison, who led Michigan State to national prominence in field hockey, has been named the head field hockey coach at the University of Virginia, as announced by Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage today (Jan. 19). Madison, whose 17-year tenure as a head coach included a stint at Temple, comes to Charlottesville with a 208-143-8 career record.

“The University of Virginia is fortunate to have attracted a head field hockey coach of the caliber of Michele Madison,” said Littlepage. “Her student-athletes have achieved in the classroom and on the field. She has coached successfully at the national and international levels, she’s won championships, and she’s been a leader in the sport throughout her career. She will be a great colleague throughout the University community.”

“I am excited for the opportunity to lead the Virginia field hockey team back to national prominence,” said Madison. “The players and coaches have to be passionate, intelligent, hard working and above all embrace the honorable traditions of such a prestigious University.

“Michigan State has been a tremendous experience for me and I want to thank everyone associated with the program for their support. It was a difficult decision to leave Michigan State, but the opportunity at Virginia feels right. Craig Littlepage, Jane Miller and the entire university’s mission, commitment and resources impressed me and greatly influenced my decision to accept this challenge.

Madison led the Spartans to their second NCAA semifinal in school history in 2004, earning the program’s first-ever No. 1 ranking along the way. Madison had previously guided the Spartans to their first-ever semifinal berth in 2002. Madison leaves Michigan State as the school’s all-time leader in victories.

With the selection of Michelle Huynh-Ba as a first-team All-American in 2005, Madison extended a streak of national honors for her players, with a Spartan being represented on the All-American teams in 10 of the last 11 years.

Madison’s dedication to academics for the student-athletes is just as impressive. To date, Madison has coached 42 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, with her players receiving NFHCA National Academic award winners 32 times during her tenure at State. The team’s academic success serves as an example of how as a head coach, Madison has made academics an important part of the success of the team.

A member of the US Field Hockey Board of Directors, Madison has been integrally involved in the US Field Hockey community. She was a part of the coaching staff at the 1994 World Cup in which the US won the bronze, their highest finish in history. In the summer of 2005, Madison was named to the USFHA Board of Directors. She was a part of the advisory committee to hire Terry Walsh, the Technical Director of High Performance for US Field Hockey.

“Throughout the interview process there was a consistent message from everyone at Virginia: ‘Tell us what it will take to make this program the best and we will do our utmost to get it for you.’ It is a wonderful feeling to know I have that level of support,” said Madison.

“I am realistic about the growth that is needed for us to compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the best field hockey conference in America. I look forward to contributing to that legacy.”

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