CHANDLER, Ariz. – The NFHCA, along with 4U Field Hockey, gave more recognition to the University of Delaware field hockey program Wednesday as head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof was named the Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.

The honors are the first ever for a Delaware field hockey head coach as Van de Kerkhof is one of five head coaches that now qualify for the 4U Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I National Coach of the Year, which will be announced on January 6.

“I am humbled to receive the honor of Mid-Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year," remarked Van de Kerkhof.  "I also would like to congratulate all other Regional Coaches as they all can look back on an exciting coaching journey with their teams in 2013."

He continued, “An honor of this magnitude can only be achieved thanks to the contributions made and energy provided by an entire coaches team. Hereby I would like to dedicate this achievement to the entire Blue Hen Field Hockey Coaches Staff! A sincere thank you is in place for my Assistant Coaches Lynn Farquhar, Kim Kinsella, Volunteer Coach Melissa Woodie, and former Assistant Coaches Jestine Angelini and Laree Beans. Thank you coaches for being a great coaching team to work with on a daily bases, and for you being first class ambassadors of our University of Delaware’s field hockey program, athletic department and university.”
Van de Kerkhof doubled his win total in his third season at UD by leading his squad to one of the most successful seasons in Delaware history in 2013 as the Blue Hens posted a program-record 17 victories.  Additionally, Delaware earned both Colonial Athletic Association regular season and tournament championships en route to the fifth NCAA Tournament berth in school history.  The Hens finished 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament following a play-in game win over Liberty before falling to No. 3 North Carolina.

Including the 17 wins, Delaware set or tied the school record in six total categories in 2013 with 22 games played, 57 assists, assists by a freshman (Winesett; nine), points by a freshman (Peet; 32) and attendance at Rullo Stadium (4,493).

Under Van de Kerkhof’s guidance, the Blue Hens boasted one NFHCA All-America Third Team selection in sophomore Michaela Patzner (Rosenheim, Germany) in addition to three All-Mid-Atlantic Region honorees in Patzner and freshmen Esmée Peet (Zeewolde, The Netherlands) and Meghan Winesett (Centreville, Va.).  Furthermore, Peet was named the Synapse Sports Rookie of the Year.

Delaware, which was ranked No. 14 in the final NFHCA Coaches Poll of the season, also featured eight individual All-CAA honors this season, including the Player and Rookie of the Year awards, for Van de Kerkhof, a CAA Co-Coach of the Year.

In a 5-0 CAA rout of Towson on Oct. 11, Van de Kerkhof tallied his 100th career victory and finished the season with an overall record of 108-62 (.635) in eight years as a head coach.  The Netherlands native is 34-28 (.548) during his tenure with the Blue Hens.