The fearless leadership and dominant performances by her players has fourth year head coach Michelle Andre walking with a smile these days.
Her field hockey squad is off to a school-best 16-0 season in which they are ranked third nationally and atop of the tough New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).
The past week, the Profs battled two of their toughest opponents and they prevailed victorious in both games, defeating arch rival TCNJ 3-2 at home for their first win against the Lions in five years and then going on the road this past Saturday night and taking down a tough Montclair State team who is ranked second in the conference with an impressive 15-2 mark. When asked if the win against TCNJ was the most important of the year, Andre compared its stakes to other games during the year.
“They are all important, but that one always is because of the history and the rivalry,” Andre said. “Yeah, that one was fun.”
Andre certainly knows the ins and outs of TCNJ and the rest of the conference as well.
She spent her college days playing for the brown and gold when Rowan was formerly Glassboro State college. She was involved to say the least, playing four years of softball and field hockey from 1994-1998. In field hockey, she was an attacking midfielder totaling 94 points with 38 goals and 18 assists in her career, serving as a captain her junior and senior seasons. In the ’97 season, she was NJAC Midfielder of the Year. Softball might have even been her stronger sport, being selected for the NJAC first team three times and second team All-American in 1996.
Andre relates her abilities as a former player herself with how she scouts and evaluates players
“The versatility is the aspect I look at,” Andre said. “I feel like I am able to look at an athlete and apply different techniques of coaching styles, because every athlete is different. Being a multi-sport athlete, I looked at how I hit the ball on a hockey field, how it translates to softball at-bats or even playing defense at third base how that could help in other areas of my game.”
She has been a proven winner everywhere she goes, posting a career record of 150-130.
Andre got her first head coaching job at the University of Rochester where she served as head coach from 2002-2006, finishing with a 54-43 record. She nabbed her first NJAC head coaching job, taking over the reigns of the Stockton Ospreys in 2009 where she really turned the program around, earning NJAC Coach of the Year respects in 2013.
But it’s at Rowan where Andre has found herself the most success, the the 2018 group that is undefeated might serve not only as the best of all time here in Glassboro, but her best team ever.
“This has been my best group, especially when you look at wins and losses, this is what a measure of success looks like for Rowan,” Andre said. “My other two programs I had to kind of come in and look to rebuild. They were not in good places, so we measured success a little bit differently.”
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