MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Wesleyan University Athletics Director Mike Whalen '83 announced today that Christine Kemp has been selected as the fourth head coach of the Wesleyan field hockey program.
"I am thrilled to announce that Christine Kemp will join the Wesleyan University Athletics faculty as our next head field hockey coach," said Whalen. "A dynamic and well decorated two-sport student-athlete at Skidmore College, Christine has a proven track record of coaching success.
"Coach Kemp has a tremendous passion for the sport of field hockey and a competitive spirit which inspires her student-athletes to succeed. In addition, Coach Kemp's experience and success as an NCAA Division III student-athlete, assistant coach, and head coach, will provide our student-athletes a role model who will support their pursuit of academic and athletic excellence."
Kemp comes to Wesleyan from Castleton University, where she spent the 2018 season as the field hockey head coach and led the Spartans to a regular-season record of 15-5 overall and 11-1 in the Little East Conference (LEC). In her first season as a collegiate head coach, Kemp's Castleton squad won the LEC regular-season championship as she was named the LEC Coach of the Year. She guided the team to a program-record 11-game winning streak while coaching three First Team All-LEC selections. Castleton was just 23-48 (.324) in the four seasons prior to Kemp's arrival, while the 15 wins in 2018 were the program's most in six years.
Before her stint at Castleton, Kemp spent five seasons at her alma mater, Skidmore College. While there, she helped lead the Thoroughbreds to an 80-27 (.748) record with three Liberty League Championships, two quarterfinal appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament (2014, '16), and one national semifinal appearance (2013).
Her college coaching career began at Bridgewater State University, where she served as an assistant coach form 2011-13 while pursuing her master's degree. During that time, the Bears compiled a 31-11 (.738) record and won back-to-back MASCAC Championships, while qualifying for the ECAC Division III Tournament both years, reaching the semifinals in 2011 and the finals in 2012.
Kemp earned her bachelor's degree from Skidmore in 2011 following a decorated four-year playing career. She was a two-sport athlete who excelled in field hockey, while also serving as a captain of the basketball team her senior year. In field hockey, Kemp was named a three-time NFHCA All-American, three-time Liberty League Player of the Year, and two-time NFHCA North Atlantic Player of the Year. She holds the school records for most assists in a single season (22) and most career assists (62). As a senior, she led the team to its first-ever 20-win season and a trip to the NCAA Division III Final Four. She also ranked second in the country in assists per game in 2009 and 2010, and was fourth in points and sixth in goals in 2010. In 2011, Kemp received the Skidmore Senior Athlete Award and seven years later, she was inducted into Skidmore's Athletics Hall of Fame.
Aside from her collegiate coaching experience, Kemp also served as the futures head coach and site director for USA Field Hockey in 2018, where she developed individual skills, team game and offensive and defensive strategies in a training-only environment for U19 players. She also assisted in the start-up of the Thoroughbreds Club in March 2017, which is Saratoga County-based club program for interested field hockey players ranging in age from 7-18 years old.
"I would like to thank Wesleyan University Director of Athletics, Mike Whalen, as well as the search committee for this incredible opportunity to lead the field hockey program as the next head coach," said Kemp. "Wesleyan is an amazing institution and I am honored and excited to begin this next chapter. I am looking forward to getting to know the student-athletes, colleagues, and the community, while working diligently to take the field hockey program to new heights."
Kemp will succeed Patti Klecha-Porter, who served 34 seasons as the Wesleyan field hockey coach. Klecha-Porter will retire following the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, and Kemp will take the helm of the program beginning July 1, 2019.