Rider field hockey alumnus hired as next head coach
By Jake Tiger
Rider Athletic Director Don Harnum announced Alicia Govannicci ’14 as field hockey’s next head coach on Feb. 28, according to a press release.
Govannicci, a former Rider field hockey midfielder, replaces longtime Head Coach Lori Hussong following her retirement on Jan. 30 after 23 seasons, becoming the sixth head coach in program history.
“I am extremely thrilled and grateful to be able to return ‘home’ to Rider University as the new head field hockey coach,” said Govannicci in a press release. “As a Rider field hockey [alumnus], I know how special this program is, and I will work to maintain its longstanding legacy of success. I am excited to share my passion, knowledge and love for the game with such a hard-working, talented and enthusiastic group of student-athletes. I cannot wait to begin building upon the foundation of solid tradition, with the goal of leading the program to new successes.”
Most recently, Govannicci worked as an assistant coach at Long Island University (LIU), one of Rider’s Northeast Conference (NEC) rivals. She now takes over a young, incredibly promising Rider unit that is fresh off an NEC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance.
As a player under Hussong, Govannicci helped Rider to three consecutive NEC Championships from 2010-12, and as a senior in 2013, she earned first-team All-NEC honors.
“It is exciting to welcome Alicia home as our next coach,” said Harnum in a press release. “She was a tenacious competitor and winner during her time wearing the Rider uniform, and has been preparing for this opportunity throughout her coaching journey. Rider field hockey has a history of success due to talented players and a special family atmosphere and positive culture. It became apparent throughout the search process that Alicia is the right person to lead this proud program.”
The Springfield, Pennsylvania native’s coaching career began at her alma mater, Cardinal O’Hara High School, where she was a varsity assistant and junior varsity head coach. She graduated from the school as its all-time leading scorer.
Govannicci has also spent time as an assistant at La Salle University, Central Michigan University and Immaculata University.