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What Inspires Me: Field of Dreams

On the eve of Title IX’s 50th anniversary, championship-winning field hockey coach celebrates the successes of her women student-athletes, both on and off the pitch.

wim tracey fuches
Tracey Fuchs hoists the NCAA National Championship trophy in November 2021. Image: Ryan Kuttler/Northwestern University Athletics

By Tracey Fuchs
Spring 2022

My players inspire me the most. These young women come in as 17- and 18-year-olds and leave as leaders with a degree from Northwestern. I’m inspired by their growth and leadership, and it’s amazing how they can balance such a tough schedule of academics and athletics and still be so successful.  

As coaches, we spend the most time with these students of anybody on or off campus. We really get to know them at a different level, and for me to share in their championship and be able to lead them to victory was probably one of the proudest moments of my coaching career.  

And we want to pursue another one. Defending a championship is the hardest thing to do in any sport, but we have a great team coming back. We’re really looking forward to pursuing another title for Northwestern. This University brings out the best both in athletics and academics. I couldn’t be in a better place. 

Tracey Fuchs won her third field hockey national championship — and her first as a head coach — when Northwestern toppled Liberty University in the NCAA National Championship in late November. A 2014 USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and arguably the greatest player in U.S. field hockey history, Fuchs has helped the Wildcats achieve a winning record in 12 of her 13 seasons as head coach at Northwestern while also leading the team to two Big Ten titles. 

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