By Nick Curcuru
Manchester native Katelyn Orlando is trading in her cleats for a clip board.
Orlando, a former standout on the UMass Amherst field hockey team and a 2009 graduate of the school, was recently named an assistant coach for the field hockey team. Orlando, who graduated from Manchester Essex High School in 2005 and was a four-year starter for the Minutewomen from 2005-2008, has the confidence of her former head coach Justine Sowry.
"I am incredibly excited to have Katelyn back within the UMass field hockey program," Sowry said in a story posted on umassathletics.com. "As a player, (Katelyn) had such passion and drive and I know this will translate into the coaching role. Katelyn is a proud and enthusiastic alumna who wants to develop her coaching skills and give back to the program. We are so very fortunate and now all the pieces are in place to make a run at the Atlantic 10 Championship."
If Orlando's coaching skills are anywhere close to her playing skills, the Minutewomen could have a budding star on their hands. In her four years at UMass, Orlando played in 81 games with 24 career goals and 11 assists. The former Manchester Essex star was named to the Atlantic-10 All-Rookie team in 2005 with five goals and two assists on the year.
Orlando battled injuries in her junior year but in her senior season in 2008 she ended her career on a high note. The forward started all 21 games for UMass, leading the school to its second straight conference title and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
She also took home individual accolades as she led the A-10 with 15 goals and was named the conference's offensive most valuable player. She was also named a regional All-American by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association as a senior.
Orlando served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Minutewomen during the 2009 season. She graduated in 2009 with a bachelors degree in psychology and earned a Master's degree in education this past May.
In addition to being a volunteer assistant at UMass, Orlando served as head coach of a U-19 field hockey team at Indoor Action Sports in Greenfield this past winter.
Overall, Orlando is excited to start as a full-time assistant this fall.
"I am extremely excited and proud to now coach for the program that I played for and to which I feel such strong devotion," Orlando said to umassathletics.com. "I look forward to the season ahead and trying to bring home another championship to UMass. I would like to thank Coach Sowry and the administration for this opportunity."
Content from umassathletics.com was used in this report.