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Coach Spotlight:

Alumni and New Field Hockey Coach Julia Philp

Wayne Valley alumni, Julia Philp has returned to the Valley turf, except this time she is the new head coach of Wayne Valley Field Hockey. Philp, a recent graduate of Rowan University, decided to begin coaching having “missed being a part of the program.” Philp led the girls to a successful 10-8 season, gaining her first career win against Butler. 

In eighth grade, Philp joined George Washington Middle School’s field hockey clinic where she first fell in love with the sport. She continued to play “to make friends before starting high school.” During her freshman season she played on the Freshman team, in her sophomore year she was on JV, and during her Junior and senior years she played on Varsity. One of my favorite memories was when I scored the game winning goal in the first round of the Passaic County Tournament in 2017.

Coming into coaching Philp noted that she was understandably nervous, “ I was nervous since I hadn’t played the sport in a few years. This is also my first time coaching and I didn’t know what to expect.” She also noted that having such talent on the team helped her to gain her confidence in coaching. 

Philp teaches physical education at George Washington Middle School which also influenced her interest in coaching. Coaching was not something that Philp had originally seen herself doing, “I did not ever picture myself coaching field hockey. But, I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to coach for Wayne Valley. I always looked up to my coaches and I wanted to be that for my athletes.”

Not only is scoring a goal exciting for the player, but the coaches also get extremely excited watching the ball go in the cage. To the coaches, they are able to see the amazing things that can happen when the girls communicate with each other and work together on the field. Winning the Butler game was great achievement in Philp’s career, because she got to experience her first win as coach. “It [the Butler game] was a close game which made it even more exciting. After the game, the players and assistant coaches gave me the game-winning ball with everyone’s names.”

Philp’s favorite thing about coaching is watching the girls improve and all of the memories made along the way. “They [the players] work so hard during practices and games and seeing their hard work pay off is amazing. My favorite thing about coaching WVFH are the memories we have made during practices and games.” With her first season being a success, she plans on returning next year and looks forward to watching the program grow and meeting new talent.

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