Justine Sowry, the two-time Dita/NFHCA Division I Northeast Region Coach of the Year who guided the University of Massachusetts to three Atlantic 10 Championships and NCAA appearances, has been named the University of Louisville's eighth head field hockey coach as announced by Vice President for Athletics Tom Jurich Thursday.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring a world class head field hockey coach to our nationally-ranked program," said Jurich. "Justine is an elite competitor and a great player's coach. She and her outstanding staff will lead us to the next level."
Sowry returns to where her coaching career started when she was an assistant under head coach Pam Bustin from 1998 through 2002.
"I'd like to thank Tom Jurich and Julie Hermann for this incredible opportunity," said Sowry. "After eight years away, I am thrilled to return to where my collegiate coaching career began with the chance to lead this amazing program."
"With world-class facilities and a commitment to athletic excellence, the tools are available to make Louisville one of the nation's elite," said Sowry. "I look forward to working with the student athletes and together building a championship program."
She replaces Pam Bustin, who resigned to take the head coaching job at Duke after a 13-year stint during which she led the Cards to six conference championships - including three BIG EAST regular season titles in four years. The 2010 team posted a 13-7 overall record and was ranked as high as No. 8 in the NFHCA coaches' poll.
Former USA Field Hockey national team members Kelly Dostal and Abbey Heird will round out Sowry's coaching staff.
Sowry joins Louisville after four seasons as the head coach at UMass. During her time there, she compiled a 58-31 overall record, including a mark of 22-4 in Atlantic 10 play. She guided the Minutewomen to three A10 championships and NCAA appearances (2007, 2008 and 2010).
Sowry is coming off of a successful 2010 campaign, leading UMass to a 15-8 overall record and a perfect 7-0 mark in Atlantic 10 play. She also earned her third A-10 Coach of the Year and her second NFHCA Division I Northeast Region Coach of the Year honors. During her tenure there, she coached 19 A-10 All-Conference selections, 17 All-Region selections, and five All-Americans.
Prior to her time at UMass, Sowry served as a USA High Performance Coach with the U.S. Field Hockey Association (USFHA) from 2003-07. During her stint there, she was the director of all goalkeeping programs, and the camp director of the FDIC, High School Open Camp and the Junior National Camp. Sowry coached Amy Tran, who was named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the 2006 World Cup in Madrid, Spain in addition to being named to the FIH World Team of the Year.
While Sowry was an assistant coach with the U.S. National team in 2006, the team placed sixth in the world at the games in Madrid. She also assisted with the 2005 Junior National Team which placed seventh in the Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile. With the USFHA, Sowry wrote the curriculum for the Futures Team goalkeepers each of the last two years.
Prior to joining the USFHA, Sowry spent a year an assistant coach for the Stanford University field hockey program (2003).
Sowry began her coaching career at the University of Louisville, where she spent five years (1998-2002) as an assistant coach to Pam Bustin. She aided Bustin in orchestrating one of the most remarkable program-building efforts in the nation. In their first season, the Cardinals snapped a 34-game losing streak and went on to produce winning records in each season from 2000-03 including the MAC conference championship in 2002. She also served as the Assistant Director for field hockey camps at U of L and has taught at various goalkeeping elite clinics since 1993.
The Australia-native was a member of the Australian National Hockey Team from 1991-2001. She earned a total of 128 international appearances, and was a member of the country's 1996 and 2000 Olympic squads. She earned gold medals while playing on World Cup teams in 1994 and 1998.
Sowry earned a Bachelor's degree in physical education and mathematics from the University of South Australia in 1991.