Val Cloud Announces Retirement as Field Hockey Coach

PHILADELPHIA - The end of an era was marked December 13, when Val Cloud announced her retirement as head coach of the University of Pennsylvania's field hockey program.

Cloud made the announcement at the team banquet, which was heldthat afternoon at the Sheraton Inn University City.

"After thirty years of coaching at Penn, I am announcing my retirement," she said. "I feel fortunate to have spent most of my working years at such a great University. I will take with me many great memories, and I look forward to staying in touch with the many friendships that I have established at Penn and throughout the field hockey community. I look forward to moving on to the next phase of my life. I thank my colleagues, players and family for making my 30+ years of coaching so meaningful to me."

"I want to thank Val for her longstanding devotion to our field hockey and lacrosse programs," said Penn's Director of Athletics, Steve Bilsky, noting her stint as a lacrosse assistant as well as her field hockey tenure. "She has always been the consummate professional and a loyal member of the Penn coaching fraternity. I am sure that the many student-athletes Val led onto Franklin Field during the last three decades join me in wishing her well in her retirement."

Cloud has been with the field hockey program since 1980, spending 15 years as an assistant coach before taking over the reins and leading the program for the last 15 years. During that time, Cloud amassed 115 wins and led the Quakers to the 2004 Ivy League championship. This past season, Penn went 5-12 including a 2-5 Ivy League mark.

Cloud coached three National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-Americans - Sue Quinn in 1995, Liz Lorelli in 2003, and Lea Salese in 2005 - and 16 women earned Mid-Atlantic Region honors under her tutelage. She also has guided 38 All-Ivy honorees, including four unanimous first-team selections, and the 2004 Ivy League Rookie of the Year (Melissa Black).

After spending 15 years as an assistant coach for both the field hockey and lacrosse programs at Penn, Cloud was appointed head field hockey coach in 1995 and quickly established herself as one of the country's most respected coaches. That year she led the Quakers to a 10-7 record and a third-place finish in the Ivy League. In 1997, she helped the Red and Blue earn a berth in the ECAC Championship and recorded her second double-digit win season. The following year, Penn served as host of the 1998 NCAA Field Hockey National Championship at Franklin Field.

As an assistant coach at Penn, Cloud helped lead Penn to seven Ivy League titles and five NCAA Tournament appearances from 1980 to 1994. In all, Penn compiled an impressive 236 victories on the field hockey and lacrosse playing fields with Cloud's assistance.