Christy Morgan returns to JMU field hockey as head coach
“I can honestly say there’s a genuine excitement for being back,” Morgan said upon returning to the helm of the JMU field hockey program. “One of the reasons I’ve chosen to come back is because we have the ability to be the best. James Madison, as an institution and as a hockey program, will attract hard workers, people with a desire to be the best and are willing to work for it.”
Morgan originally joined the Dukes in 1991, the same year that James Madison field hockey joined the Colonial Athletic Association. Just three seasons later, Morgan led the Dukes to their first-ever national championship when JMU defeated top-ranked North Carolina in penalty strokes for the 1994 NCAA title. She became the first person in NCAA field hockey history to win a national championship as both a coach and a player (Old Dominion – 1982, 1983, 1984).
In her nine seasons at JMU, Morgan led JMU to five NCAA tournament appearances (1993-95, ‘97, ‘99), including back-to-back final-four appearances (1994, ‘95). While at the helm, she also led the Dukes to the 1995 CAA championship, a 2-1 victory over her alma mater Old Dominion.
“Christy Morgan is a proven winner and is only one of two coaches who have won a national championship at JMU!” JMU director of athletics Jeff Bourne stated. “She has a genuine interest in growing young women and will cultivate an environment in the JMU hockey program where everyone will be developed, valued and respected. She has created synergy and success everywhere she has worked. We have a great appreciation for her core values and are ecstatic about her return to JMU!”
Morgan, the 1993 CAA Coach of the Year and NCAA South Region Coach of the Year, was inducted into the JMU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004. She left JMU to become the head field hockey coach at Davidson in 2001 before leaving the collegiate coaching ranks for nine years.
As a player, Morgan (ODU ’85) helped lead the Monarchs to three national championships (1982, ‘83, and ‘84). She was a three-time All-American at ODU and won the 1984 Honda Award for Field Hockey, awarded to the top player in the nation. She spent eight years on the U.S. National Team (1982-’90), two seasons with the U.S. World Cup Team (1983, ’86) and was a member of the U.S. Olympic Team in 1988.
“I think that my group will know that, to reach the pinnacle of success, you have to earn it,” Morgan reiterated. “And in earning it, it starts with the attitude and it starts with the possibility. And then, every day, you fight to be the best.”