Through her first three seasons as Northwestern head coach, Tracey Fuchs has spared no time in setting NU on the fast track to success. Under Fuchs' direction, the Wildcats have posted winning seasons in three consecutive seasons after finishing at or below .500 in the 13 years prior to her arrival.
Fuchs is a truly legendary figure in the sport of field hockey having won NCAA championships both as a player and coach and serving as a leader on the United States National Team for nearly two decades. Presently, Fuchs is on staff as an assistant coach for a Team USA squad that last fall captured its first-ever Pan American Games gold medal and earned an automatic bid to the 2012 Olympics in London.
At Northwestern, Fuchs has quickly turned the Wildcats into a consistent winner and regular contender for a Big Ten championship. Perhaps most notable in her tenure at NU has been her utilization of standout Chelsea Armstrong, the 2010 and 2011 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. Last season, Armstrong became Northwestern's all-time leader in career points (173) and goals (71) -- striking down records that had stood for almost 30 years -- and earning first-team All-American honors in the process.
In 2011, the Wildcats proved their ability to run with any team in the country, posting four wins over teams ranked in the top 20 nationally: No. 7 New Hampshire, No. 8 American, No. 11 Cal and No. 18 Virginia.
Fuchs' 2010 season with NU saw the Wildcats in the mix for the Big Ten championship when they entered the final weekend of the conference season with a 3-1 record. Northwestern began its league slate with a thrilling 3-2 victory on the road against sixth-ranked and eventual NCAA semifinalist Ohio State, the highest ranked team NU has beaten since 1997. NU's trio of Big Ten victories in 2010 was its highest total since the league instituted the six-game conference schedule in 2000.
The 2009 edition of the 'Cats posted the highest win total (12) of any NU squad since 1995 and scored 67 goals on the year, 23 more than the season before Fuchs' arrival and just two shy of the Northwestern school record set in 1982.
Fuchs' in-game coaching ability also was prominently on display in NU's five overtime games during her inaugural season with the 'Cats as they became the first team in school history to win four overtime contests in one season. The first-year head coach also guided the Wildcats to a tight 3-2 victory at Penn State, the first Northwestern win over the Nittany Lions since 1997. On the individual side, three 'Cats earned All-Big Ten recognition in 2009, the first time that has happened for NU since 2000.
Fuchs took over as the seventh head coach in the history of the Northwestern field hockey program on Jan. 15, 2009, arriving at Northwestern following two championship-laden coaching stints as the associate head coach at Michigan that spanned 12 seasons (1996-2003, 2005-'08).
When Fuchs assumed her duties as an assistant at Michigan in 1996, the Wolverines had never in their history reached the NCAA tournament. That quickly changed, however, when in 1999 Michigan qualified for the tournament for the first time and advanced all the way to the championship game. Two years later, Fuchs and Michigan completed their rise to the top, winning the 2001 NCAA title. In total at U of M, Fuchs was part of six NCAA-qualifying teams as well as three Big Ten Tournament-winning squads (1999, 2000, 2005).
Fuchs also has established herself as a permanent fixture on the United States national program circuit, serving as the head coach of the U.S. Junior National team from 2005-09. In that role, Fuchs guided the 2008 team to a historic victory at the Pan American Junior Championships in Mexico City, posting a 2-1 overtime win in the finals against Argentina, which had won all five tournaments dating to 1988.
In the last two years, USA Field Hockey also has tabbed Fuchs as an assistant on the Senior National team during its seven-match tour to England and Spain and as an assistant coach on the U-17 squad. She also was an assistant on the U-17 team that won the bronze medal at the 2010 Youth Pan American Cup in Uruguay.
Fuchs was named USA Field Hockey's National Coach of the Year in 2005 after leading her squad to a seventh-place finish at the Junior World Cup, the best showing ever by an American team at the event.
Fuchs is one of only a handful of American coaches to attain their Level III accreditation, the highest standard of coaching licensing.
Arguably the greatest player in the history of USA field hockey, Fuchs is a two-time USA Field Hockey Athlete of the Year (1990, '93), a member of two Olympic and four World Cup teams. She has participated in more international matches (268) than any other player in U.S. field hockey history. Fuchs gained extensive leadership experience as a 17-year member of the national team, serving as team captain for 14 seasons. She racked up 69 international goals and in 1994 was named to the President's XI, a world all-star team chosen to play the Australian Hockeyroos in honor of the International Hockey Federation's 75th Anniversary.
Fuchs began her coaching career as an assistant at Connecticut, where as a collegiate player she was a three-time All-American and twice named a finalist for the Honda Broderick Award, winning the honor as the nation's top field hockey player in 1987. She also earned all-tournament recognition after helping the Huskies win the 1985 NCAA championship and graduated with seven UConn scoring records to her name.
A native of Centereach (N.Y.) High School, Fuchs earned a bachelor's degree in sports management and marketing from Connecticut in 1988.