Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - It was all smiles, handshakes and hellos on Friday morning as new Central Michigan field hockey coach Catherine Ostoich was introduced to her colleagues within the Central Michigan Athletics.
"She's had success at this level, not only as a player but as a coach," said Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Michael Alford of Ostoich, who was named by Alford to the post on Dec. 15. "She has a great passion for the sport, she's very knowledgeable about the game and that really stood out through the interview process.
"Her personality, I think, is going to fit the culture of the department, the culture of the university. Can't wait for her to get started; can't wait for the kids to meet her."
Ostoich met her fellow CMU head coaches along with several Chippewa assistant coaches, department administrators and staff during a coffee-and-donuts gathering in the John G. Kulhavi Events Center Media Room.
"It's a dream to be here," Ostoich said. "Great opportunity, great people to work with. Everyone has been so supportive. I can't wait to get started."
Ostoich comes to CMU from Indiana, where she served last season as an assistant. She was the head coach at Missouri State in 2016 after which the university eliminated the program. She was an assistant for two seasons at Davidson College in North Carolina and was a four-year starting back at Richmond, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 2013.
Ostoich said her focus in the beginning will be having her team play with passion and to be physically fit in order to handle the rigors of an 18-game regular-season schedule, plus post-season tournament play.
"Fundamentals," Ostoich said. "I'm all about the basics, and then let's go to the flashy stuff. I want somebody on the field who wants to be on the field.
"Hard work, passion, fitness. Fitness is a huge one. We might not be the most skilled team - I'm going to work really hard to get us there - but we're going to be the most fit team, and we're going to be able to run with anybody, whether they're the top team or the worst team, we're going to be able to stay on that level."
Ostoich takes over a program that has enjoyed long-term sustained success.
"There are big expectations in the program," Alford said. "We have all the tools there to be successful. It comes with high expectations. We've got the right person to lead us, to go out and recruit the right women to come and compete not only in the classroom but on the field, and we're just really excited about the direction of the program right now."