Trio of Nittany Lions to be Inducted into U.S. Field Hockey Hall of Fame as Part of 1984 Olympic Team June 28
Charlene Morett, Chris Larson and Brenda Stauffer were members of the bronze medal-winning team
The Nittany Lions are set to face five teams that finished in last season's final top-10 poll
The coach made two stops in King of Prussia and Philadelphia last week on the coaches caravan
The Nittany Lions had 12 team members on the squad for the second-straight season
The Nittany Lions will be the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tourney for the second-straight season
Field hockey takes on Syracuse in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
28th season at Penn State, 31st overall
The longest tenured coach in the Big Ten and the sixth-longest tenured at a single school in Division I field hockey history, Charlene Morett-Curtiss enters her 28th season as head coach of the Penn State field hockey program in 2014. Morett-Curtiss boasts a remarkable resume covering her time as the leader of the Nittany Lions. Over the last six years, Morett-Curtiss has led the Nittany Lions to three Big Ten regular season titles, two Big Ten Tournament championships and five NCAA Tournament appearances.
Morett-Curtiss currently ranks fifth all-time in Division I history in wins with 458 and is one of just six DI coaches to accumulate 400 career wins. She has led the Nittany Lions to the NCAA Tournament in 24 of her 27 years as head coach of Penn State and has helped maintain Penn State's distinction as the No. 3 ranked school in all-time NCAA Tournament appearances with 29.
A seven-time NFHCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year, Morett-Curtiss is an excellent teacher of field hockey. Her players earn national recognition on a yearly basis, 11 of whom have been named two-time first team All-Americans with Kelsey Amy being the most recent. Her teams dominate the national scene, consistently ranking among the Top 10 in the national polls. Penn State was ranked in the Top 10 of the STX/NFHCA poll for 32 consecutive weeks from the first poll of the 2005 season ending with the second poll of 2008. The squad achieved a No. 1 ranking in the STX/NFHCA poll for the first time in program history. From 2005-08, Penn State finished eighth, sixth, ninth and 11th respectively, in the final poll of the season.
Under Morett-Curtiss' tutelage, five of her players have been named Big Ten Athlete of the Year -- Traci Anselmo, Jen Coletta, Heather Gorlaski, Tracey Larson and Kiley Kulina. Six players have been voted the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year -- Natalie Berrena, Dawn Lammey, Larson, Tara Maguire, Allison Scola and Kelsey Amy. In 2012 and 2013, Brittany Grzywacz was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, earning the ninth and 10th Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors from Penn State, joining Anselmo, Gorlaski, Becca Main, Jill Martz, Jill Pearsall and Jen Long. Long, Anselmo and Grzywacz are the only Lions to be named Defensive Player of the Year twice.
Since Penn State's entry into the Big Ten in 1992, Morett's program has produced more First Team All-Big Ten selections, Big Ten Defensive Players of the Year, Big Ten Athletes of the Year and Big Ten Freshmen of the Year than any other program. Penn State's 10 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honorees are five more than any other school.
A number of Morett-Curtiss' players - past and present - have played at an elite level with the United States program, with Larson earning a spot on the U.S. National Team for three consecutive seasons. Another former Nittany Lion, Eleanor Stone, has been on the national team for a total of seven different seasons. Seven former players have competed on the U.S. National Team, with several others playing on various levels of national teams. Recent graduates Long and Scola were three-year members of the U.S. Under-21 National Team. Both Long and Wood trained with the U.S. National Team in Chula Vista, Calif. while Scola went on an exhibition tour of Argentina with the U-21 team. In the spring of 2007, Long and Scola represented the U.S. on the U-21 team's tour of China. Morett-Curtiss attended with them as the Chef de Mission for U.S. Field Hockey. Additionally, Long and Scola, along with All-America alum Larson, helped the East team capture the U.S. Open Regional Championship in the summer of 2007. Gebhart, a member on this year's Penn State squad, is the latest Nittany Lion to rise through the ranks at the national level. She has competed for the U.S. at the Junior World Cup in Germany in the summer of 2013 and was named to the 2013-14 U.S. National Team in May 2013.
Laura Kassab and Jessica Longstreth were both members of the U.S. National Indoor Hockey Team as well. Scola was on the U.S. Development Squad after being named to the team in June of 2009. In addition, Long and Amy competed for team PA in USA Field Hockey's National Championship last June. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Kylie Licata played on the Junior National High Performance Team as well.
Morett-Curtiss' teams have also produced a run of success in Big Ten games that is unparalleled since Penn State joined the conference in 1992. Since that time, the Nittany Lions own the most Big Ten regular season wins, the highest Big Ten regular season and tournament winning percentage, the most Big Ten Tournament titles and the most Big Ten Tournament wins.
Under Morett-Curtiss' leadership, the Nittany Lions had a strong season in 2013, earning their second-consecutive Big Ten regular season title and making another appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The squad defeated five ranked opponents, including No. 8 Old Dominion, No. 3 Princeton, No. 16 Delaware, No. 10 Northwestern and No. 19 Iowa. The squad featured two NFHCA Division I All-Americans in Grzywacz and Gebhart, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, six All-Big Ten selections and 12 Academic All-Big Ten honorees.
In 2012, as the team captured both the Big Ten regular season and Big Ten Tournament crowns in the same season for just the third time in her illustrious career. Morett-Curtiss reached a coaching milestone during 2012, as she recorded her 400th win as a head coach of Penn State in a 7-1 defeat of No. 24 Indiana on Sept. 21. The Nittany Lions' record of 18-4 (.818) was the fifth-best mark of Morett--Curtiss' career. Penn State earned a 5-1 record in Big Ten regular season play before defeating Iowa and Michigan for a second time in the Big Ten tourney on the way to the title. Morett earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors for the fifth time in her career for the standout season. The Lions made it to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the second consecutive season after defeating Albany 2-1 in the opening round. Morett--Curtiss' 2012 squad featured the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, five NFHCA All-Americans, four All-Big Ten selections, three Big Ten All-Tournament Team members and a program 16 Academic All-Big Ten honorees.
In 2011, Penn State was crowned the Big Ten Tournament champions, after defeating the Michigan Wolverines on Nov. 6 in the Championship game. It was Penn State's first Big Ten Tournament title since 1998. The Big Ten champion Nittany Lions finished the season with a 17-6 overall record and also earned an NCAA first round victory over the Northeastern Huskies. Morett-Curtiss had three players recognized with NFHCA All-America honors.
Following an up-and-down 2009 season, Penn State rebounded in fine fashion in 2010. Finishing with a 14-6 record, the Lions won seven more games than they did in 2009, which marked the second-largest improvement in the nation. Guiding the squad to a berth in the NCAA Tournament, Morett-Curtiss earned NFHCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year honors and helped three of her players earn All-America honors.
In 2008, Morett-Curtiss led the Nittany Lions to the Big Ten regular season title, their first conference championship since 2005 and fifth overall. The squad was eventually awarded an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament where it fell to a tough Princeton squad, 2-0. Morett was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fourth time.
The squad enjoyed plenty of success in the mid-2000s as well. In 2007, after defeating Virginia for the second time in the season with a win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Penn State stunned second-ranked Maryland on the Terps' home field to advance to the NCAA Semifinals. The Nittany Lions then came back to the same field five days later and knocked off third-ranked Wake Forest in the National Semifinals, the program's first-ever win over the Demon Deacons, to advance to the National Championship game. The memorable run included three wins over ACC teams for the shot to play for the national title.
Despite the season ending with a loss to top-ranked and undefeated North Carolina in the title game, four Nittany Lions were named NFHCA All-Americans. One year earlier in 2006, Morett led the Nittany Lions to their first appearance in the Big Ten Tournament Championship game since 2003. She also won her 350th career game with a 1-0 win over Connecticut on September 3, 2006.
In 2005, the Nittany Lions won 17 consecutive games to tie a program record en route to a Big Ten regular season crown, their first conference title since 1998. Berrena, a senior, was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and three other Nittany Lions were honored as All-Big Ten. Morett-Curtiss won her 300th game as Penn State head coach, a 5-0 decision over Temple on September 14. She was named Mideast Region Coach of the Year for the fifth time in her career and was recognized as the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the third time.
In 2002, Morett-Curtiss guided the Nittany Lions on a memorable NCAA Tournament run. Penn State opened with back-to-back wins over Kent State and Princeton in the opening rounds played at Penn State before defeating No. 1 ranked Old Dominion, 3-2, to advance to the NCAA National Championship game for the first time in program history.
While Penn State dropped the title game, 2-0, to Wake Forest, the year went down as one of the greatest seasons in program history, as four players were recognized with STX All-America honors and five earned All-Big Ten status.
Morett-Curtiss led the 1993 squad to the university's first outright Big Ten Championship in any sport. The team won 15-straight games, a record at the time. The most notable upset was a 2-1 victory at Old Dominion which ended the Monarchs' 66-game win streak. Since then, Morett-Curtiss has led her Lions to five more regular season titles and an unprecedented four straight Big Ten Tournament crowns from 1995 through 1998. Penn State won its sixth tournament title in 2012.
Morett-Curtiss' teams have not only excelled on the field but also in the classroom. Penn State has produced 204 Academic All-Big Ten selections since 1992 and is the only school in the Big Ten to have 10 or more Academic All-Big Ten selections for 13 of the past 14 seasons. The 2012 squad produced a record 16 athletes named Academic All-Big Ten. Additionally, a record 16 members of the team were named to the NFHCA National Academic Squad in 2008, a then-record 14 the year before, and in the two years previous to that, a total of 12 players were named to the squad in each season. During the 2008-09 school year, the Nittany Lions were also winners of the Penn State Highest GPA Academic Award given to the team with the highest overall GPA and the Varsity `S' Women's Team GPA honor.
A 1979 graduate of Penn State, Morett-Curtiss was an outstanding field hockey player and the program's only three-time first team All-American. Captain of the undefeated 1978 team, Morett-Curtiss was a phenomenal scorer, netting 50 goals in four years and was the first Lion to score five goals in a game. She held that record for 21 years. After leaving Penn State, Morett-Curtiss continued to play field hockey at the national level and in 1982, she was named the USFHA's Co-Athlete of the Year. In June 2014, Morett-Curtiss and her teammates from the 1984 squad were inducted into the U.S. Field Hockey Hall of Fame.
A two-time Olympian, Morett-Curtiss played in more than 100 international matches. Morett-Curtiss remained in Happy Valley as a graduate assistant to train for the 1980 Olympics. Unable to participate in the 1980 Moscow Games due to the U.S. boycott, Morett-Curtiss remained loyal and enthusiastic to the U.S. team, traveling all over the world in international competition in preparation for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, where she won a bronze medal. Morett-Curtiss was also awarded a Congressional Gold Medal as part of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team when the U.S. Congress officially awarded the medals more than 27 years after the boycotted games. In June 2014, Morett-Curtiss and her teammates from the 1984 squad were inducted into the U.S. Field Hockey Hall of Fame.
Also an All-American lacrosse player in Happy Valley, Morett-Curtiss was one of the nation's top scorers in the sport when Penn State won its second consecutive USWLA National Championship. She also played for the 1978 and 1979 United States Women's Lacrosse Association National Champion teams. Morett-Curtiss was a member of the U.S. Lacrosse team and earned Most Valuable Player at the 1979 USWLA National Championship, where the Nittany Lions defeated the University of Massachusetts.
After completing her undergraduate degree in physical education, she worked for one year as a graduate assistant at PSU, helping the Lions become National Finalists in field hockey and National Champions in lacrosse.
Beth Anders then tabbed Morett-Curtiss as her assistant in 1980 at Old Dominion, where she would coach for four years. During that time, Morett-Curtiss helped the Monarchs reach three-straight National Championship games, and in the process, Anders served as a positive mentor for Morett--Curtiss' future success.
In 1984, Morett-Curtiss was named head field hockey and lacrosse coach at Boston College. She immediately lifted the Eagle field hockey program into the Top 20 and won an Eastern College Athletic Conference title in her first year.
When Penn State legend Gillian Rattray retired from coaching in 1987, Morett-Curtiss returned to her alma mater to take over for her mentor, inheriting a program with 17-straight winning seasons and five-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Morett-Curtiss has continued that winning tradition by leading 24 of her teams into the NCAA Tournament, including her first 14-straight, giving the Penn State program 19-straight NCAA appearances from 1982-00. Morett-Curtiss has enjoyed a winning record in 25 of her 27 years with the Nittany Lions and a non-losing record 26 times. Under Morett-Curtiss and Rattray before her, Penn State amassed 32-straight years with at least 10 or more wins.
Morett-Curtiss' 2002 and 2007 teams reached the National Championship game, her 1990, 1991 and 1993 teams reached the NCAA Semifinals, and her 1988, 1992 and 1994 squads missed joining the Elite Foursome after one-goal losses in overtime. Her coaching accomplishments include seven Big Ten Championships (1993, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2008, 2012, 2013), six Big Ten Tournament titles (1995-1998, 2011, 2012) and two Atlantic 10 Conference championships (1989, 1990).
Morett-Curtiss' success at PSU has led to numerous coaching honors. She was the Mideast Region Coach of the Year in 1990, 1991, 1993, 2000, 2005, 2007 and 2010. The Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year in 1989, she was the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1993, 1998, 2005, 2008 and 2012.
Morett-Curtiss is a member of the USFHA Hall Of Fame as well as the NFHCA Hall of Fame and served as the USFHA Vice President of Coaching. She had the honor of presenting this award to her mentor, Rattray when she was inducted into the Hall in 2006. On the international level, she spent three years as an assistant coach with the United States National Team traveling to the Pan Am Games, Ireland and Argentina. She was also an assistant coach with the U.S. Under-21 squad that competed in Spain. Morett-Curtiss has coached U.S. squads that won medals at Olympic Festivals in Houston, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. She recently served at the USFHA Board of Directors. Morett-Curtiss was instrumental in developing field hockey in State College by starting a youth field hockey program for local elementary school children. This program continues to thrive and inspire young players to participate in field hockey.
Morett-Curtiss' has earned her Level III Coaching Certification from U.S. Field Hockey. She is in her second year as the head coach for Pennsylvania High Performance Region. She has also coached at FDIC and has presented Level I coaching certification courses in both Pennsylvania and California.
She is an avid runner and golfer in her free time. Morett-Curtiss has been active in local charity events such as Coaches vs. Cancer.
A native of Aldan, Pa., Morett-Curtiss is a graduate of Lansdowne-Aldan High School and a member of the Delaware County Hall of Fame. She is one of seven children (five brothers and one sister) of the late Eleanor and Chalmers Morett.
GETTING TO KNOW COACH MORETT