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Monday, January 14, 2013

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New Field Hockey Coach Named to Succeed Legendary Beth Anders

Andrew Griffiths, the head field hockey coach at Lafayette College the past six years who led the Maroon and White to a 17-3 season last fall and an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, has been named the head field hockey coach at Old Dominion, as announced today by athletic director Wood Selig.

Griffiths becomes the fourth field hockey head coach in ODU history, and follows legendary coach Beth Anders, who retired at the completion of the 2012 season after 30 years at the university.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to take on the challenge of leading Old Dominion field hockey. The tradition of the program is unmatched, the athletic facilities are at the highest level and the university is clearly committed to achieving success with its field hockey program in the future," said Griffiths.

"I have great respect for Beth Anders as a coach and teacher, and respect for all she has accomplished in her time at Old Dominion. I look forward to working hard to build on this strong foundation, and focusing on future successes," Griffiths added.

Under Griffiths' leadership, Lafayette won back-to-back Patriot League titles in 2011 and 2012, and his teams competed in the conference championship game in five of his six seasons. His 2012 team was ranked as high as 11th nationally, and Griffiths was named the Division I National Coach of the Year by Synapse Sports and the USFHA Mideast Region Coach of the Year.

The win-loss record at Lafayette improved to a 73-46 mark in his six years, following a three-year record of 16-39 prior to his arrival in 2007.

Griffiths brings 15 years of NCAA coaching experience to the ODU position. From 2005-07, he served as the associate head coach at Boston College leading the Eagles to a ranking of No. 4 in the nation during the 2006 season. He was an assistant coach at the University of Maryland in 1998-99 and from 2001-04. The Terps won the NCAA title in 1999, made Final Four appearances in 2001, 2003 and 2004, and had two Honda Award winners during his tenure.

"We had the luxury of following a number of head coaches this past fall, as we knew we would be in a search to replace Beth Anders at the conclusion of the season," said Selig. "We were fortunate to attract such strong interest in our women's field hockey vacancy and we are very pleased to announce Andrew Griffiths has accepted our offer to become just the fourth head coach in the history of our program.

"Andrew has enjoyed great success at every institution he has been. He has an impeccable resume and is one of the most respected head coaches in field hockey. Our goal at ODU remains to win our 10th national championship in field hockey, and coach Griffiths positions us extremely well to accomplish that goal," Selig added.

Internationally, Griffiths is well known, having served as an assistant coach for the USA under 21 women's national squad from 2004-11. He served as an assistant coach to the USA Senior women's national team in 2003-04 and was a consultant to the Canadian men's national field hockey team for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Griffiths played internationally as a member of the Canadian men's national team, appearing in 214 international games, including the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, as well as in three Pan American Games and two World Cup competitions. He currently holds a USFHA level 3 coaching accreditation, the highest level available domestically.

"Andrew respects the tradition and shares the core values of the Old Dominion field hockey program," remarked Rhodes scholar recipient Samantha Salvia, a 1996 engineering graduate of ODU and a four-year member of the field hockey program who served on the head coach search committee. "He brings a passion for the sport and a tremendous mind for the game. As an alumna of the program, I am excited to see Andrew chart the future path of Old Dominion field hockey."

After graduating in 1994 in English from Western Ontario University in London, Ontario, Griffiths joined the coaching staff of his alma mater. He helped the team to the top 10 of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union for the first time in school history. He went on to earn a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Western Ontario, and a bachelor's of applied arts in journalism in 1998 from Ryerson University in Toronto.

The ODU field hockey program is one of the most successful in NCAA history, with a record nine NCAA crowns and 28 NCAA tournament appearances under Anders' leadership. Anders retired as the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history with 561 wins.

"Andrew will grow and develop the Old Dominion field hockey program," said Anders. "He has a healthy respect for our program and he is a great leader and teacher. The players can be very confident in their direction."

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