Penn State Harrisburg adds field hockey as its newest varsity program

Penn State Harrisburg announced Tuesday that it is searching for its first head field hockey coach.

The satellite campus added field hockey to its existing 16 intercollegiate varsity programs, according to the university. And, now there are 17.

“We’ve had a strong interest level in the sport of field hockey from prospective students for many years, as well as students currently enrolled,” Penn State Harrisburg Director of Athletics Rahasaan Carlton said in a statement. “It’s an immensely popular sport locally and in the greater Mid-Atlantic region. With the recent addition of our multi-sport turf facility and new competitive opportunities due to our conference merger, we’re very excited to add it to our current list of varsity sport programs.”

When the program takes off, it will operate first on a club level before beginning NCAA Division III competition in the fall of 2024, according to the university.

The program will compete as a member of the conference established from the future merge of the United East and Colonial States Athletic Conferences (CSAC). 

Practices and games will be held at the college’s multipurpose turf field. The university noted that plans are underway to expand the complex to include permanent bleachers, public restrooms, a press box, team storage, and a concession stand. The renovations will be funded by the Penn State Harrisburg student facility fee.

A national search for a full-time head coach will begin immediately. Once hired, the program’s head coach?will begin to recruit the first class of field hockey student-athletes. The team will field a roster of 25 to 30 players.  

Penn State Harrisburg will continue to assess the interest level and overall viability of future varsity athletic programs, with no specific timeline set for new additions.  

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