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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Women’s lacrosse head coach Missy Doherty has announced the hiring of Tara (Rowlyk) Hohenshelt ‘97 as assistant coach joining associate head coach Amy Altig and director of operations Kelly Knapp to round out the staff for 2017-18.
The hiring of Hohenshelt, who began earlier this week, comes after former assistant Brooke Matthews accepted an Assistant Athletic Director and lacrosse coaching position at Bryn Mawr High School in Baltimore earlier this summer. Matthews spent the past five seasons as assistant coach helping lead the Nittany Lions to back-to-back NCAA National Semifinal appearances over the past two years.
“I want to thank Brooke Matthews for an incredible five years, and wish her the very best in her next endeavor,” commented Doherty. “Brooke was an integral part of our rising success during her tenure and she will really be missed.”
Hohenshelt, a 1997 graduate, was a four-year defender for Penn State helping lead the Lions to the 1995 NCAA National Semifinals and the quarterfinals in both 1996 and 1997. The Ridley Park, Pa. native also served as tri-captain during her senior season and was a two-time IWLCA Division I Academic All-American.
Hohenshelt then returned to Happy Valley as an assistant coach from 1999-2012 even serving under Missy Doherty during her first two seasons as head coach in 2011 and 2012. Penn State went 22-15 during those two seasons.
“As a Penn Stater, Tara has deep love for Happy Valley, and we are very fortunate to have her back as a part of our program,” commented Doherty. “As the assistant coach for my first two years here at Penn State, Tara did a fantastic job in helping our program continue a tradition of success.”
During the past four seasons, Hohenshelt served as the head women’s lacrosse coach at Western Albemarle High School in Crozet, Virginia. During her time as head coach, she led the team to three-consecutive Virginia 4A South Region Championships from 2014-16 and a pair of State Semifinal appearances and a runner-up finish in 2015. Hohenshelt was twice named Conference and Region Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2017 as well as earning US Lacrosse Virginia-Charlottesville Coach of the Year this past season. Hohenshelt coached 21 All-State honorees and two Charlottesville Conference Players of the Year during her time at Western Albemarle.
Prior to her time at Western Albemarle, Hohenshelt helped the Covenant School in Charlottesville, Va. capture the 2013 VISAA Division II girls lacrosse State Championship and was named Coach of the Year during her lone season as head coach. Hohenshelt also coached the VISAA Division II girls lacrosse Player of the Year along with five All-State honorees during that 2013 season.
“I would like to thank Head Coach Missy Doherty, Senior Associate Athletic Director Rick Kaluza, and Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour for this incredible opportunity for my family and I to return to Happy Valley. Working with the Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Team and sharing the sidelines with Missy and Amy is once again one of the greatest honors of my coaching career,” mentioned Hohenshelt. “It is always a dream come true to represent my alma mater through lacrosse and to fight for both the Big Ten and the NCAA Championship titles with the best staff and student-athletes in the country. As a proud Penn State graduate, a former student-athlete of our Nittany Lion Women’s Lacrosse program, and a former Assistant Coach of Women’s Lacrosse at Penn State, I am truly grateful and humbled to be in a position to positively impact this program and to assist Missy and her staff with our nation’s best.”