Allegheny College Director of Athletics and Recreation Portia Hoeg has announced the hiring of Valerie Lohr as the first head field hockey coach in Allegheny history.
A field hockey and lacrosse standout at Lehigh University, Lohr boasts a resumé that includes over a decade of field hockey coaching experience at both the collegiate and high school levels.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Allegheny as the first head field hockey coach,” said Lohr. “It is an honor, and I cannot wait to get started bringing in the first ever recruiting class. This is such a special opportunity, as everything the first team does will be a record in the history books and lay the groundwork for years to come. The tradition, passion, and excellence will be created and nurtured by this very special first team, and I could not be happier.”
“Valerie distinguished herself among a tremendous pool of candidates,” said Hoeg. “Her experience coaching and recruiting at various levels will serve her well in finding the right recruits for an upstart program. She has exceptional skills in relationship building, and I couldn’t be happier with the leadership she will provide for Gator field hockey.
“Like all of our varsity sports,” Hoeg continued, “we have high expectations for the program to not only excel in the community and classroom, but also on the pitch. Our goal is to embody the tenets of a quality Division III program and be an immediate contender within the North Coast Athletic Conference and beyond. Valerie’s hiring is a vital piece to our vision.”
Most recently, Lohr spent the 2017 season as head coach at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh. The Indians finished 12-3-1 overall, and advanced to the championship round of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) Class-A playoffs. The Indians outscored their opponents a combined 70-18 on the season, with the defense posting seven shutouts, and the offense scoring eight or more goals in six different matches. Five Shady Side players earned All-WPIAL accolades.
Lohr is no stranger to starting a program, as she was named the first field hockey coach in program history at Pace University in 2014, while also serving as the compliance director at the NCAA Division II school in Pleasantville, New York. In Pace’s inaugural 2015 season, Lohr guided the Setters to a 6-12 record against a demanding schedule that included matches against seven teams ranked in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association top-20, highlighted by a victory over eighth-ranked LIU-Post. Two Pace players were named All-Northeast 10 Conference, while Halley Rose was named to the Synapse Sports All-Rookie Team, and Margaret McLean was a First Team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) selection. The Settlers were also one of the top performing teams academically in the NE 10, as 19 players landed on the conference’s academic honor roll for holding grade-point averages over 3.0.
From 2007-10, Lohr worked as assistant coach at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., assisting in all aspects of the program including game strategy, practice planning, budgeting, recruiting, scouting, film evaluation, strength and conditioning, and camp/clinic administration. In her four seasons on the staff, the Ducks went a combined 60-29 overall and 20-4 in Empire 8 Conference play, including undefeated conference marks in both 2008 and ’09. The Ducks made three straight NCAA tournament appearances from 2008-10, and picked up first round victories in both 2008 and 2010.
Lohr began her coaching career in August 2003 with a four-year stint at Dickinson College, serving as an assistant for both the Red Devils’ field hockey and women’s lacrosse programs. With the field hockey team, she assisted in all aspects of the program, primarily working with goalkeepers, while also developing game and practice planning, and player training and conditioning.
Lohr has also been very active in coaching at the youth and club levels. In 2009, she was head coach of the Region 6 US Field Hockey Association Futures Program under-16 squad, while she also worked as assistant coach for Somerset, New Jersey-based Edge Field Hockey Club from June 2007-August 2009.
In 2011, she was an assistant coach and head trainer for the Region 5 USFHA Futures Program, before spending two years as a coach for the Revolution Field Hockey Camps in Fairfield, Connecticut. She also was an assistant coach and head trainer for under-16 players in the USFHA Region 4 Futures Program from January-December 2015.
A two sport student-athlete at Lehigh University, Lohr was selected to the 2001 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, and received the COACHES Award for leadership excellence, and the Treen Scholarship for Academic Merit. After graduating in 2002 with a double major in Political Science and History, she went on to earn a Juris Doctorate Degree from Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law and admission to the Pennsylvania Bar in 2006.
Lohr is a member of both the United States Field Hockey Association and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.
“I am excited for the future of the program at Allegheny, and field hockey as a sport,” Lohr said. “Allegheny offers a wonderful blend of rigorous academics and competitive athletics, a perfect combination which I can not wait to share with field hockey student-athletes. There is such a palpable warmth and sense of camaraderie in the athletic department and the entire school. I am so pleased to join the staff and bring my own strengths to the table as we grow this new program and continue to foster the success of all sports. Go Gators!”
The Gator field hockey team will open its inaugural season in August 2019. Fans can follow the team on its official Twitter account, @AlleghenyFH.