After nine years as the head coach at Saint Francis, Stacey Bean joins VCU for the upcoming 2017-2018 season as head field hockey coach. Bean replaces Laura Baker who held the position since 2013. Bean is an established coach and holds seven conference Coach of the Year honors.
“I am thrilled to bring Stacey to VCU as our field hockey coach,” said Associate Vice President Ed McLaughlin. “She demonstrated throughout the interview process that she fits our mission and our core values. She has spent her entire career developing student-athletes and I look forward to her building our field hockey program into a championship-caliber team with outstanding student-athletes.”
Bean grew up in Kentucky and Wyoming before moving north to the Canadian border. She completed high school, undergraduate and graduate school in Canada and kickstarted her coaching career there before moving back to the states.
Bean played field hockey at Laurentian University in Ontario Canada for four years (1989-92), and earned all-conference honors in 1992 from the Ontario Women’s Inter-University Athletic Association.
For this week’s Coach’s Corner, the Commonwealth Times spoke with Bean to discuss her new role as head coach and what she looks for in players, as well as her dreams and aspirations for the upcoming season.
When did you start playing field hockey?
Believe it or not in college. Which is rare. I played six sports in high school, field hockey not being one of them and it wasn’t something that was in our area. I was recruited for three sports, obviously field hockey not being one of them. Things happen for a reason– it was a good reason. I ended up playing and starting every game in my career in college.
What did you think allowed you to be successful starting to play at a college level versus all of your other teammates who had already had years of experience and training?
I was fearless. I was not afraid to try anything new. I am competitive as heck, and that helps when playing at a competitive level. I was coachable, but I was coming at things obviously from a different perspective and because I had been a multi- sport athlete, I just had a view of the game of field hockey from a very unique perspective.
Not having much experience yourself, when you started playing in college — what do you look for when recruiting players?
Coachable. They must have a certain degree of athleticism to play D1. That athleticism, that attitude, that team — first type kid.
Did you always know you wanted to be a coach?
Yeah, I went to school for it, I was professionally trained for it. Yeah that one is a no doubter.
Why did you accept the position at VCU?
I see the potential here to be great.
What are your goals or dreams for the VCU team?
For me personally, and I said this to the girls when I met with them this week is, that they need to realize that the only reason we have jobs is because of them. We are here for them. And it’s important that we put our money where our mouth is. And really truly be here for them. My job is to help them be the best version of themselves on and off the field. Really facilitating that growth and development between the ages of 18 to 22 — wow the growth that happens in kids is awesome. That’s why I love my job. And to have the privilege to be apart of that growth in that time- that’s something I don’t take lightly, it’s truly and honor and a privilege.
What are your personal goals for the upcoming season?
My hope for our program is that we go out and that we play to the best of our ability. If we are going to win, great, but we will not lose because we beat ourselves. Just to have a consistency of a high level performance and the wins will come.
What did you learn being the head coach at Saint Francis that you plan on bringing to VCU?
Just the importance of a strong team culture. Just being mentally tough. Those two things.
How do you think “mentally tough” is achieved?
It’s mental discipline and I absolutely think everybody can. Anybody who says they can’t has already given up on themselves. Right? It’s retraining yourself to have a different habit of thought. A different reaction to the moment, and if you just focus on moment to moment, how can I be better? The rest takes care of itself. You know, i’ve said to these kids and my Saint Francis kids, I don’t care if you make mistakes, this is a game of mistakes, a highly technical game, it’s what you do after, that’s what I care about. You have to have that next play mentality and not feel sorry for yourself. It’s a habit of thought and a discipline of thought.
Keyris L. Manzanares, Contributing Writer