Katie Neeman, a 2005 Lake Forest High School graduate, will be taking over as head coach for the school’s field hockey team this fall.


The Lake Forest High School field hockey team is going to feature a new look this year, as Jordan Mollohan has stepped down as head coach and a new leader has stepped in.

Katie Neeman, a 2005 Lake graduate, has left her post as head coach at Campus Community High School after just one year to take over the team she played for throughout high school.

Fresh out of college in 2009, Neeman hopes to bring a youthful enthusiasm to the Spartans while transforming them back into the successful team they’ve been in year’s past.

Q After only one year coaching at Campus Community, what made you decide to make the move over to Lake?
A I’m finishing my teaching degree up now and got a long-term substitute position [at Lake]. And last year I helped coach basketball and track there, so when the hockey position came up, I jumped on it.

Q So what is your main goal in taking over this program?
A Well, my assistants graduated with me in 2005, too, and our big thing is to bring the tradition back that we had when we were there. We had such a winning experience. Things were different when we were there.

Q Because you only graduated five years ago, is there a deeper connection there with the students than say someone who graduated much longer ago?
A I think there is because a lot of them, we went to school with their older siblings. They came and saw our games then and experienced our successes just at a younger age from a different perspective.

Q How do you begin to build things back up to that level of success then?
A I think it just goes back to the basics of being able to build the team together. It’s just a team that needs to be built so they can all have one focus and one goal, and realize that it’s not an individual sport. Winning means that as a team they need to be together.

Q What did you take out of your first year of coaching at Campus last year?
A I just learned to be prepared for the multiple levels of skill, and to be very welcoming to brand new players and encourage other athletes to play as well. We’ve done a lot of recruiting within Lake so far. We’re recruiting other athletes because numbers were so low.

Q Will it be easier this year being in the same building during the day with your players?
A I think that is a big thing for a coach to be in the building because they feel like you have an eye on them all the time. You have to, as a student, keep up with expectations. They have more of a connection with you.

Q Since you were hired as head coach, what involvement beyond recruiting new in-house students to come out have you had with the team?
A The biggest expectation for these girls was they knew they had to come to training camp [on Aug. 16] in shape so we could get right into systems and team drills. They had an eight-week summer program that they’re expected to do before they report.

FROM THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

“When she was at Lake Forest, she was a star athlete and an outstanding student-athlete. She had a long history of athletic and academic success, and those are the people we want coaching our kids. She’s already been out there monitoring the summer league and already had a meeting back in June. I think the dedication is there and is going to show.”
— Mike Wagner, Lake Forest High School Athletic Director

ABOUT COACH NEEMAN
AGE 22
HIGH SCHOOL Lake Forest High School class of 2005
COLLEGE University of Maryland class of 2009, bachelor’s degree in government politics and secondary education
YEARS COACHING One

Email Brian Citino at brian.citino@doverpost.com