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Former Panther Brown ‘21 Returns as Assistant Head Coach

By Andrew Smith

Recent Adelphi graduate Jackie Brown ‘21 completed her MBA in 2022, the same year she was hired as an assistant coach for the field hockey team. However, Brown’s contributions to the team date before this hire since she’s been a member of the team since 2017.

Brown played on the field hockey team for four seasons before she became an assistant coach. Photo by AU Athletics

Brown, a defender, was a player for four years, and during her fifth she served as the GA (graduate assistant). She reminisces about her time on the field hockey team, while she also earned a degree in business management specializing in marketing with a minor in sports management. “I remember my playing days as being truly memorable. Every year our team got better to make it to the playoff rounds of NE10s, to our first conference championship appearance, and finally our first NCAA appearance since 2015,” she said. “I grew so much as a player and a person being a part of this family.”

She added that she’s grateful for all the practices, games, lift sessions, community service events and team bonding she was a part of. “This relates to coaching because the time of being a student-athlete is so short. As a coach, I wanted to make sure the girls enjoyed every moment and get to have the best experience possible, just like I had.”

Brown reflected on how being a former player has helped ease her transition into coaching. “It helps to keep our team traditions alive and to understand the player’s point of view when demonstrating drills, game-like scenarios, scouting, etc. I played with a lot of the current members so it is a special relationship with the team.”

The 2022 season brought several important changes to the coaching staff. Brown played a major role in the transition process for Head Coach Jess Mulhern. “Coach Jess Mulhern did a great job learning all about the current players and keeping our team traditions while bringing a new outside perspective. I wasn’t ready to step away from a sport I’ve been playing my entire life. Coaching this team was a great way to stay involved and continue to make an impact for this program,” Brown said.

The field hockey team was able to accomplish an amazing feat this season, securing a Northeast-10 Championship, the first in program history. Brown reflected on how the success of this past season affected her. “I learned what it was like to win a championship. That is a feeling that not everyone gets to experience. I also learned that a lot goes into being a coach. It’s more than just making practice plans and scouting the other team. It is about being there for every girl on the team, being there to assist them through any problems they may be experiencing both on and off the field,” she said. “I’ve had many coaches over my athletic career. Each of them have made a huge impact on me, helped shape me into the woman I am today. I hope that being a coach for this program will allow me to make an impact on my players' lives, just like my coaches did for me.”

Brown said the playoff run experience this past season will always stay with her. “I will cherish every coach group hug and be so proud of every single girl on our team for bringing home our program’s first ever NE10 Championship title.”

Regarding her first year as a member of the sidelines–not on field–she said, “Reflecting back on my first season coaching on the collegiate level I couldn’t be happier. We won a championship, I am still connected to this great athletic program and university, and I get to see these players develop from a different perspective.”

Brown added, “While I admit I miss cheering on these girls from the field, I am grateful to be coaching and cheering them on from the sideline. I am eager to see what time the off-season holds for us.”

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