Sept. 1, 2011
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's field hockey program will enter a new era this season as the Hawks will soon begin play on their brand new turf field on the James J. Maguire '58 Campus. The new field will be named the Ellen Ryan Field, in honor of longtime athletic administrator Ellen Ryan, who recently retired after 37 years at Saint Joseph's.
The facility will be officially dedicated on October 7 before the Hawks take on crosstown rival Temple in the Atlantic 10 opener for both teams.
"When you think of women's athletics at Saint Joseph's, the first name you think of is, and should be, Ellen Ryan," said Director of Athletics Don DiJulia. "We hope that by putting her name on this field, the University can honor her contributions now and forever."
"I was thrilled when I was informed that the hockey field was being named for me," said Ryan. "I've had so many wonderful experiences over the last 37 years, but the naming of the field is the ultimate compliment. It will bring me great pride and joy to watch the field hockey program succeed on Ryan Field."
"There is no better person to bestow this honor upon than Ellen Ryan," said Saint Joseph's head field hockey coach Michelle Finegan. "The team and I are grateful to Ellen for everything she has done for us, both in regards to the field project and through her service to the University. We cannot wait to begin practicing and playing on Ryan Field."
Ryan was the driving force behind the growth of the Saint Joseph's women's athletics program during her tenure on Hawk Hill. She served as the first head coach of the women's basketball team in 1973, temporarily adding the head coaching duties of the women's tennis team to her résumé in 1976. Ryan was the coordinator of women's athletics for six years before being named assistant athletic director in 1981. In 2002, she was promoted to the position of associate athletic director/senior women's administrator, which she held until her retirement this summer.
In the coming days, a synthetic AstroTurf12 pitch will be laid adjacent to City Avenue on the Maguire Campus. The surface is one of the most popular in the game and conforms to International Hockey Federation standards. The facility will also be equipped with an irrigation drainage system, state-of-the-art pop-up water cannons designed to give the surface a more consistent feel, a mobile press box, and seating for up to 200 spectators.
Prior to the October 7 contest, there will be a dedication and blessing of the field set to begin at 2:45 p.m. A reception in the Campus Commons will follow at 3:00 p.m. before the Hawks and Owls take the field for a 4:00 p.m. start.
For more information on the dedication ceremony, please contact Eileen Brown at 610-660-1707 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.