STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) – Penn State announced the launch of its “Teammates For Life” campaign to celebrate and support female athletes at the university on Thursday.
“Penn State is fully committed to supporting our student-athletes on and off the field, and Teammates For Life will reinforce the lifelong success of our female athletes by harnessing the incredible power of the University’s global alumni network and the critical important of community, mentorship, and women supporting women,” said Penn State President Neeli Bendpudi.
The goal of the program will be to encourage attendance to all 14 of Penn State’s women’s athletic teams’ games, provide resources to help female athletes balance their sport and academic and connect current and past female Penn State athletes with one another to support networking.
“Penn State female alums are everywhere AND everything,” said Penn State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Patrick Kraft.
The campaign will be led by newly retired Penn State Field Hockey Coach Char Morett-Curtiss. Morett-Curtiss retired with 575 career wins, with 541 at Penn State, which is in the NCAA’s top five all-time. Morett-Curtiss took her teams to eight Big Ten regular-season titles and two Atlantic 10 regular-season crowns. The legendary coach also earned six Big Ten Tournament Championships and two Atlantic 10 Tournament Championships.
For her effort, Morett-Curtiss earned Big Ten Coach of the Year seven times and NFHCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year eight times.
Morett-Curtiss will be putting her passion for athletics and Penn State into running this campaign as well as her experience from her extensive athletic resume. Morett-Curtiss started at Penn State as an athlete in 1975 and returned to be a head coach in 1987 where she stayed until her retirement.
“All of the opportunities and achievements I’ve enjoyed in my career can be traced back to my Penn State roots and the women who supported me,” said Morett-Curtiss. “I believe strongly in helping to build those connections for today and tomorrow’s student-athletes.”
One of the first events scheduled for the initiative include alumni networking events to be held in State College, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City and Washington D.C. in the fall. There are also tentative plans for Teammates For Life to host student-athlete career fairs on campus, programs for professional development and speaking engagements from highly accomplished individuals. These events are in the works for the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters.
Penn State’s 14 women’s programs include basketball, cross country, field hockey, fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball. In total, women’s athletics has given Penn State University 21 national championships.
Morett-Curtis noted that she believes Teammates For Life will translate to huge victories “on and off the field” for Penn State’s female athletes.