UConn Honors Trailblazing, Championship-Winning Field Hockey Coaches

The names of Diane Wright and Nancy Stevens will adorn two prominent campus locations in recognition of their towering contributions to UConn and their sport

An aerial view of UConn Field Hockey playing against Rutgers.

An aerial view of a UConn Field Hockey game. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Former University of Connecticut head field hockey coaches Diane Wright and Nancy Stevens combined to win five NCAA Division I National Championships, over 900 games, and most importantly, made a positive impact on the lives of countless UConn student-athletes. The duo were trailblazers in collegiate athletics, and tirelessly and effectively advocated for a more equitable experience for women in sports throughout their hall of fame careers.

To honor the duo’s contributions to the University of Connecticut, and to continue the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the landmark federal Title IX legislation, the indelible contributions by Wright and Stevens will be marked permanently in two prominent University locations, following a Wednesday vote by the UConn Board of Trustees.

Gampel Service Drive, which is the road that runs in between Harry A. Gampel Pavilion and the Werth Family Champions Center, and extends to the area in between the Greer Field House and the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex, will be renamed Diane Wright Way.

Additionally, the Sherman Complex, which is home to the UConn field hockey program, will be rebranded as Nancy Stevens Field at the George J. Sherman Complex.

The recommendation, which originated in the Division of Athletics, was unanimously approved by the Facilities Naming Committee, and endorsed by Interim President Radenka Maric on July 27, 2022.  The initiative was then carried unanimously by the Institutional Advancement Committee during a special session on Monday, Aug. 1.

Wright ­led the field hockey program from 1975-89 and amassed a 212-62-25 record, which included winning the 1981 and 1985 NCAA National Championships. The 1981 title marked UConn’s first NCAA National Championship of any kind, and was the first female National championship sponsored by the NCAA.

Wright led the Huskies to five NCAA National Semifinal appearances between 1981-1985 and was honored as the national coach of the year in 1981.

Stevens succeeded Wright in 1990 and led the Huskies for the next 30 years. Stevens retired after the 2019 season as the winningest head coach in the history of the sport, at 700-189-24. Five hundred and twenty three of those victories came during her tenure at UConn, where she led the Huskies to three National Championships, 38 BIG EAST Championships, and 10 trips to the NCAA National Semifinals.

Stevens, who joined Wright in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007, captured back-to-back national titles in 2013 and 2014, and led the Huskies to an undefeated national championship with a spotless 23-0 record during the 2017 season.