Three new head coaches join the Trine athletic department in 2009
Vinnie Lang will lead the men′s lacrosse program. Terry Stefankiewicz takes the helm of women’s soccer, and Nancy Plantz will build a new field hockey program.
Vinnie Lang – Men′s Lacrosse
Lang coached collegiately at Mercyhurst, Wittenberg and Dayton, and was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Purdue University.
"I want to help make better lacrosse players and better people who will be prepared for success on and off the field and have some fun along the way," Lang said. "Lacrosse is a special game. I want my guys to play with pride, win with integrity, and lose with honor."
Lang was an all–conference player at SUNY–Oswego and Purdue. He also played for the German National team in the 1998 World Games and the 2001 European Championship.
As a coach, Lang′s 1999 Mercyhurst squad finished 10th in NCAA Division II. At Dayton, the Flyers finished 13–1 in 2007 and advanced to the national semi–finals. He was named CCLA South Coach of the Year.
Terry Stefankiewicz – Women′s Soccer
When Trine University went looking for a women′s soccer coach, it didn′t take long to connect with Hall of Fame coach Terry Stefankiewicz. Stefankiewicz respected the Thunder soccer tradition and reputation. Trine appreciated his 28 years coaching men′s and women′s soccer at the University of Saint Francis and Indiana–Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW), and his connection to northeast Indiana amateur soccer.
"I love coaching at the collegiate level, and I want to help rebuild the program," he said. "We used to play the Thunder. They′ve had some tremendous teams. The program needs some consistency, and I feel like I can bring stability and a new tradition of excellence to Thunder soccer."
He is a 2004 Indiana Soccer Hall of Fame inductee. His 1999 Indiana–Purdue Fort Wayne men′s team was ranked No. 8 in the NCAA Division II poll, earning him a nomination for the National Soccer Coaches Association′s Division II coach of the year.
Nancy Plantz – Field Hockey
Nancy Plantz joins the Thunder as the first coach in the history of the new field hockey program. She comes to Trine with a wealth of experience as an athlete, a coach and an administrator at the international, NCAA Division I, Division III and junior college levels.
Trine plans to play its first games in the fall of 2010.
As an administrator, she′s been an athletic director in public and private high schools and has directed camps for field hockey, softball and tennis.
"I have a passion for field hockey as a coach and a player. I really appreciate Trine′s student–first focus with student–athletes. Trine′s outstanding outdoor and indoor turf facilities will give early impetus to the field hockey program," she said.
She played for the U.S. team for five years, contributing to the 1971 World Cup competition in Auckland, New Zealand.
She′s also been a professional softball player with the San Jose Sunbirds of the Women′s Professional Softball Association. As a softball coach, her stops included Oregon, Nebraska, Eastern Michigan and other Division III schools. In 1982, her Nebraska team won the Big Eight championship and finished fifth overall at the College World Series.