St. Stephen’s Episcopal School is pleased to announce that Chelsea Richards, director of the school’s field hockey program and Middle School athletics, has been named Texas Field Hockey Coach of the Year by MAXfieldhockey.com, a leading online community for high school and college field hockey players and fans.
Richards was selected after leading the St. Stephen’s Spartans to a program-best third-place finish in the Southwest Preparatory Conference last fall. “Finishing 15-4, Richards impressively took her Austin-based squad to new levels this season, rising to a third place finish in the state of Texas,” the MAX news release stated.
Richards joined St. Stephen’s in 2016 to lead the field hockey program. She is an alumna of The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas, where she competed as a three-sport athlete in field hockey, soccer and softball. Richards attended the University of Iowa, where she earned an athletic scholarship to play field hockey. While at Iowa, Richards and the Hawkeyes earned two Big Ten Conference Tournament Championships, competed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Division I National Semifinals. After graduating from Iowa in 2011 with degrees in health science and graphic design, Richards spent several years working as a designer in the nonprofit sector while also coaching at Casady School in Oklahoma City. Currently, she is a USA Field Hockey Level II-certified coach. In July 2018, she was one of six coaches selected to lead a team at the USA Field Hockey AAU-Junior Olympic Games. Richards and her squad earned a gold medal at the tournament.
“To be honest, I was not surprised that Chelsea was selected for this honor,” said Jon McCain, director of athletics at St. Stephen’s. “I see the consistent hard work she puts into the field hockey program, and the team's recent results are just the fruit of this labor. In addition to being a great coach, she serves as an exemplary role model for our younger student-athletes in the Middle School. We are grateful that she is part of our full-time athletic staff.”
A day after Richards was named Texas Field Hockey Coach of the Year, St. Stephen’s received news that nine members of the field hockey team had earned a place on the National Field Hockey Coaches Association National High School Academic Squad. Honored students included Callie Cho, Kate Goodman, Aubrey Johnson, Lizzy Jones, Ellie Lack, Siofra Murdoch, Riley Nichols, Caroline Ratliff and Margaret Savage. Among them, Cho (Swarthmore College) Murdoch (Harvard University) and Nichols (Trinity College) recently signed letters of intent to play Division I and III field hockey in college.
“I think it speaks volumes of these student-athletes that they can train at a high level on the field and also perform at a high level in the classroom,” Richards said of her Spartan players. “It’s not easy to maintain high grades, and I’m proud to have such a well-rounded group of young women in our program.”