Spartans celebrate 2013 season.
Field Hockey NLI
Knull led the Spartans to the Elite 8 in her third season as head coach
Barker is named an All-American for the second consecutive season
MSU rallied back to defeat Iowa 3-2 and win the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan State field hockey faces Iowa at Ralph Young Field in its first Big Ten game of the 2012 season.
Michigan State won 2-1 in OT against Louisville in the final round of the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational.
Michigan State match against Virginia on Friday, Sept. 7 at Ralph Young Field. The Spartans fell in double-overtime 2-1.
The MSU Field Hockey team 2012.
Helen Knull is beginning her third year as head coach of the Michigan State field hockey program. She was hired as head coach on Dec. 27, 2010 after serving as an assistant and associate head coach for five years. During Knull's first season as head coach they tallied a season record of 7-13-0. The 2012 campaign saw the Spartans go 10-10 under Knull in her second season as head coach. Her overall record on staff for the Spartans is 91-57.
The 2012 season was highlighted by many achievements both on and off the field. Abby Barker was named to the First Team All-Big Ten, while Kristen Henn and Becky Stiles were Second Team selections. Barker and Stiles were also named as 2012 Longstreth /National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I First Team All-West Region selections. Barker was then recognized nationally as a 2012 Longstreth /National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Second-Team All-American. Two of Knull's players were also selected to play at the USA Field Hockey 2013 Women's National Championship.
Off the field, Corey Block was presented the President's Award at the Spartan Academic Excellence Gala. The award is given to the male and female graduating senior with the highest cumulative GPA. The team was recognized with the 2012 SGI/NFHCA Division I National Academic Team Award. The NFHCA also recognized nine athletes from the field hockey team to its National Academic Squad and senior Corey Block as a Scholar of Distinction. 13 members of the team were Academic All-Big Ten selections for the fall of 2012.
Knull served as an assistant coach on the Rolf van de Kerkhof's Spartan staff from 2006-10, and was elevated to the title of Associate Head Coach in the spring of 2010. In the seasons in East Lansing before being named head coach, she helped the Spartans compile a 74-34 overall record, including an 33-10 mark in the last two seasons combined. In 2009, the Spartans won the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles, becoming only the second school in Big Ten history to finish the regular season and tournament play unbeaten. The Green and White also advanced to the NCAA Tournament four straight times (2007-10)
Knull arrived in East Lansing in 2006 from Kent State, where she served as an assistant coach for two years and as an associate head coach during her last season at her alma mater (2005). Knull was a four-year starter, two-year captain and a two-time All-American at Kent State, leading the Golden Flashes to the NCAA Tournament four straight years (1999-2002). In 2002, Knull was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year. She was inducted into the Kent State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.
As a coach, Knull helped guide the Golden Flashes to two Mid-American Conference championships (2003, 2005), cultivating the development of two Freshmen of the Year and one MAC Player of the Year. In addition to her experience at Kent State, Knull has worked as a Regional Coaching Director for Region Nine of the United States Field Hockey Futures Program. As Regional Coaching Director, Knull oversees the training sites and coaching development in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Western Pennsylvania.
On the field, three Spartans earned NFHCA All-Region honors, while two of them also picked up second team All-Big Ten accolades under Knull's first year as head coach. In the classroom, MSU earned the NFHCA Collegiate National Academic Team Award, while 11 Spartans received NFHCA Academic honors, 10 were Academic All-Big Ten and three were Big Ten Distinguished Scholars.
"Helen is an enthusiastic and energetic individual, and we are thrilled that we could elevate her into the position of head coach," said Mark Hollis, MSU athletic director, of the hire. "Helen has helped build and maintain what has become a winning tradition at Michigan State in our field hockey program. The program has seen unparalleled success over the last decade, and we are confident that making Helen Knull our head coach will continue that success into the future."
While growing up in Scotland, Knull played on the National U-16 and U-18 teams before coming to the United States for college. Knull earned a degree in sport management with a minor in coaching from Kent State in 2003, completing a master's degree in sport management in 2004. Knull obtained a Level II coaching accreditation through USA Field Hockey in November 2008.
Knull and her husband, Justin, have a daughter, Grace, and a son, Calum. The family resides in Holt.
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