Patty Shea enters her 10th season as the head coach of her alma mater's field hockey program. Shea begins the 2006 season just two wins shy of 100 for her career as she has posted a 98-99 (.498) career record.
Recognized nationally and internationally as one of the top field hockey players, Shea was a member of the 1988 and 1996 U.S. Olympic Field Hockey teams. She also represented the U.S. in the 1987 and 1995 Pan Am Games, the 1986 and 1994 World Championships, the 1995 Champion's Trophy, the 1989 Intercontinental Cup and various other international tournaments held throughout her tenure on the national team. Shea was selected to World Hockey Magazine's All-World team in 1996 and is a two-time winner of USA Field Hockey Association's Athlete of the Year award automatically earning her nomination for the USOC's celebrated Sullivan Award honoring the top amateur athlete in the U.S. On June 12, 2004, Shea was inducted in the U.S. Field Hockey Association Hall of Fame at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. Shea is one of the 41 athletes in this prestigious group.
In her previous nine years at the helm of the UMass program, Shea has coached the Minutewomen to five Atlantic 10 titles and five NCAA Tournament appearances. She was rewarded for her efforts when she received A-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1999 and 2000 and was named the 2000 Northeast Region Coach of the Year by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.
A 1984 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Shea was one of the most decorated players in UMass field hockey history. She was the Minutewomen's starting goalie from 1980-83 and earned first team All-America honors as a junior and senior. Shea's play in the cage helped Massachusetts earn two Final Four appearances during her collegiate career. The Minutewomen were the national runner-up in the first-ever NCAA Field Hockey Tournament in 1981, falling to Connecticut in the national championship game. Massachusetts returned to the later rounds of the national championship in 1983 when it captured third place. Over her collegiate career Shea recorded a school-record 54 shutouts and a .617 goals against average.
After she graduated with a degree in physical education, Shea remained a part of the UMass field hockey program, taking on the role of assistant coach under the team's leader, Pam Hixon. Shea worked under Hixon for one year during the 1985 season and then left the Minutewomen to return home to eastern Massachusetts where she served as an assistant coach at Harvard for three years.
In 1989 Shea left the East Coast and headed to the Big Ten where she was an assistant coach at the University of Iowa from 1989-95 under head coach Beth Beglin. During Shea's tenure, the Hawkeyes made it to the national semifinals five times and were the national runner-up in 1992. During Shea's 11 years as an assistant coach, her teams posted a 153-53-16 (.725) mark. Besides being involved in field hockey at the collegiate level, Shea also served as head coach for the USA Field Hockey's Future Talent Program for three summers (1991-1993) and was an assistant coach on the National Team in 1997 and 1998.
Shea has held positions on several executive committees, including the Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Committee from 1997-2001, and is currently a member of both the NCAA Umpiring Sub-Committee and NCAA Field Hockey Championship Committee.
Shea resides in Hadley, Mass.