Virginia field hockey head coach Michele Madison, a member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame and a former assistant US National Team and Olympic coach, has spent 10 seasons at the helm of the Cavalier program, leading UVA to eight NCAA Tournament berths, including national semifinals appearances in 2009 and 2010.
Madison, who in 2012 became just the 26th head coach in NCAA Division I history to hit the 300-win mark, currently ranks ninth among active coaches in career wins and has accumulated more wins than any other coach in Virginia program history.
In November of 2013, Madison was inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame, the first Virginia coach to receive this honor.
During her tenure in Charlottesville, Madison has recruited and coached a pair of four-time All-Americans, Paige Selenski and Elly Buckley. Selenski and Buckley are two of only 11 players in ACC history to earn All-American honors four times and two of 13 players to be a four-time All-ACC honoree. In all, six different Cavaliers have earned 16 All-America honors while playing for Madison.
Two of Madison’s All-Americans, Selenski and Michelle Vittese, helped the U.S. National Team to its first gold medal at the Pan American Games in October 2011. Vittese, the 2012 USA Field Hockey Player of the year, and Selenski also competed with the US squad at the 2012 London Olympics and have helped elevate the US squad to a world No. 5 ranking in the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Last season under Madison’s guidance, sophomore Tara Vittese became the first Cavalier and third-ever ACC player to be named the Longstreth/NFHCA National Player of the Year.
Madison, a former member of the NCAA National Field Hockey Committee, enters her 28th overall season as a collegiate head coach. She is the only person to take three different Division I programs (Temple, Michigan State and Virginia) to the NCAA Tournament and her teams have consistently been ranked in the top-10 at various times of the past decade. In addition to her experience in the college ranks, Madison also is the only active Division I head coach to be a part of two United States Olympic staffs, having worked as a manager with the 1988 Olympic Team in Seoul and served as the head goalkeeper coach with the 1996 squad in Atlanta.
Of the ten players to score 100 or more goals in NCAA history, Madison recruited two of them. In addition to Selenski, Madison also signed Kristy Gleason (1989-93) at Iowa. Gleason finished her career ranked third in the NCAA record book with 132 goals for the Hawkeyes.
In her first year in Charlottesville, Madison orchestrated Virginia’s return to the top-10 and was named the 2006 National Coach of the Year by womensfieldhockey.com.
The former head coach at Michigan State from 1993-2005, Madison led the Spartans to their first-ever No. 1 ranking. Michigan State advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times, including two NCAA semifinal berths (2002, 2004) and two quarterfinal appearances (2001, 2003) during her tenure in East Lansing. Madison, named the 2001 Big Ten Coach of the Year, also guided the Spartans to back-to-back conference titles in 2001 and 2002. During the 2002 season, she picked up another coaching honor, being tabbed the West Region Coach of the Year. Madison left Michigan State as the school’s all-time leader in victories.
The Philadelphia native spent four seasons as the head coach at Temple prior to her appointment at Michigan State. At Temple, she took the team to national championship contention in just her second year at the helm. During Madison’s tenure, the Owls compiled a 53-27-6 record and appeared in three NCAA Tournaments, twice advancing to the quarterfinals. Temple also won the A-10 Conference Tournament Championship in 1991.
Madison additionally served a two-year (1989-90) stint as the assistant coach for the Owl women’s lacrosse team that advanced to the NCAA Semifinals both seasons. During her stay in Philadelphia, Madison coached 12 All-Americans, 21 all-region selections, three Academic All-Americans, two National Team members and one Honda Broderick award winner.
Prior to her position at Temple, Madison served as an assistant coach at Iowa for seven seasons (1982-89). During that span, the Hawkeyes advanced to the Final Four four times and captured their only NCAA championship title in 1986.
A former member of the U.S. Field Hockey Board of Directors and the United States Field Hockey Foundation, Madison has been integrally involved in the U.S. Field Hockey community. In addition to her stint with the 1988 and 1996 Olympic Teams, she was an assistant coach at the 1994 World Cup in which the United States won the bronze, their highest finish in history.
Madison is a 1982 physical education graduate of Rutgers University, where she played field hockey and lacrosse. She earned her master’s degree in athletic administration from Iowa in 1984. Madison was inducted into the Gloucester County (N.J.) Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Williamstown (N.J.) High School Hall of Fame in 1992.