Colleen Fink was named head coach of the University of Pennsylvania's field hockey program in April of 2010, completing her fifth season at the helm in 2014. In a short time, Fink has returned the Quakers to a place among the top Ivy League programs.
The 2014 season saw a number of individual accomplishments for Penn, beginning with freshman Alexa Hoover earning Ivy League Rookie of the Year, the second consecutive season a Penn player earned the honor under Fink’s guidance. Hoover was also named first-team All-Ivy, as she led the league in goals scored with 14. Seniors Emily Corcoran and MaryRose Croddick were named second-team All-Ivy, while senior Alex Iqbal earned honorable mention, giving the Quakers four players recognized by the league.
In addition to the Ivy recognition, Hoover and Corcoran would earn NFHCA second-team All-Region selections, the second consecutive year two Quakers had earned all-region honors. Corcoran was also selected to play in the NFHCA Senior Game, the first Penn player chosen since 2004, and Fink’s first in her tenure.
Penn had improved in each of Fink’s first four years, and in 2013 the Quakers finished with a 13-4 overall record to continue the program’s progression record-wise (3-14 in 2010, 4-13 in 2011, 9-8 in 2012). The 2013 team also went into its final regular-season game playing for a share of the Ivy League title and the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Championship; the Quakers lost the contest, and finished second in the Ivy League at 5-2.
Fink has developed an offensive juggernaut at Penn. The Quakers tied the program record of 42 goals in 2012 -- a record originally set by the 1988 team, an NCAA Championship semifinalist -- and then shattered the mark in 2013 with 57 goals. Penn finished the 2013 season ranked sixth nationally in goals per game, while freshman Jasmine Cole finished second nationally in goals per game and fifth in points per game and junior Emily Corcoran was 14th nationally in points per game.
These improvements have not gone unnoticed. After having one second-team All-Ivy player in both 2010 and 2011, Penn had four women recognized with All-Ivy honors in 2012, a high since 2005. In 2013, two women earned first-team All-Ivy -- Jasmine Cole and Carly Sokach -- while two more were second-team selections. The last time Penn had a first-team All-Ivy player was 2007; the last time the Quakers had two was 2005. Cole is the first freshman in program history to be so honored, and also received Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors (first since 2004, second since 1985).
At the regional level, Cole was Penn’s first first-team NFHCA All-Region selection since 2005, while Corcoran was a second-team pick. The last time Penn had two women receive NFHCA All-Region in the same season was 2004.
"We are excited to have Colleen as our new field hockey coach," said Athletic Directory Steve Bilsky at the time of Fink's hiring. "She brings enthusiasm and a very clear vision about the future here at Penn. Colleen impressed everyone she met during her interviews, and our student-athletes will benefit from her leadership."
"I sincerely feel honored to be taking over the head field hockey coaching position at the University of Pennsylvania," said Fink. "Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attending a Big 5 school, I know and understand the tradition of Penn athletics, The Palestra and Franklin Field. There is a lot of opportunity for this program to excel, both in the Ivy League and nationally. The University of Pennsylvania is an amazing institution and community, and I am eager and excited to work closely with this team, attract talented student-athletes, and create a culture of success."
Fink came to Penn from Haverford College, where she spent the four seasons as the head coach. During her tenure, the Fords improved each year, culminating in last year's run when they made their first-ever playoff appearance and gained their first playoff win in the Centennial Conference. (Haverford finished 10th in the Centennial the year before Fink's arrival; this past season, the Fords finished fourth)
When Haverford went 9-9 in 2008, it marked the program's first season with an overall record of .500 or better since 1991; the Fords then went 6-4 in the Centennial last year en route to their playoff bid. Fink also recruited and coached the only player in program history to earn first-team all-region honors from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) -- sophomore Roxanne Jaffe, who earned the honor this past season.
Prior to her stint at Haverford, Fink spent two seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Saint Joseph's University, where she helped head coach Michelle Finegan lead the program to back-to-back seasons of double-digit wins for the first time in 10 years (11-8 in 2004, 10-10 in 2005). In Fink's second season at Hawk Hill, SJU defeated a nationally ranked opponent for the first time since 1998 when the Hawks beat No. 19 Delaware, 2-1.
Since 2005, Fink has been involved in the Viper Field Hockey club program based in Downingtown. As a club manager and coach, she led Viper's under-19 team to a gold medal at the National Festival, and she qualified under-19 and under-16 teams to the National Indoor Tournament. Fink also owns CQ Sports, which encourages and promotes the continuation of field hockey at the college level with the Field Hockey College Quest. Last year's event had 300 participants, 50 staff members, and 75 college coaches in attendance.
Fink also coached field hockey for three years at Archbishop Carroll High School, leading that program to a pair of undefeated seasons and Philadelphia Catholic League title in 2001 and 2003; Carroll also reached the league's title game in each of her three seasons.
Fink played her college field hockey at Saint Joseph's, and was captain of the Hawks' 1999 squad. She graduated in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in marketing. She is currently studying for her master's degree in education from SJU, and lives in Wynnewood, Pa. with her husband Mark and two sons, Beau and Toby.