St. Luke's University Health Network


    • Emmaus Field Hockey and St Lukes Sports Human Performance Center

Emmaus Field Hockey and St Lukes Sports Human Performance Center

Emmaus Field Hockey Coach Marks 800th Win, Is Inducted Into National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame

Team Partners With New St. Luke's Sports & Human Performance Center

Allentown, PA (10/25/2013) - Research the many accolades racked up by the Emmaus High School Girls' Field Hockey team and you would think you're reading about a Division I college. The nationally-recognized team has produced an Olympian, two USA Field Hockey National team players, three Honda “Best College Player of the Year” recipients, and has sent more than 125 young women to play college field hockey at universities across the country. It's won 25 district titles, 10 state titles and 3 national titles. And behind all this success is an unassuming, humble woman by the name of Sue Butz-Stavin, who has been the Lady Hornets' head coach since 1976.

Talk to John Graham about the legendary coach, and he practically blushes in awe. “It's our privilege and our honor to work with her,” gushes Graham, who is Director of St. Luke's SportsHuman Performance. No wonder – Coach Sue has won an incredible 800 games so far, in addition to being inducted in to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and named Coach of the Year from the National High School Coaches Association. She was also named Development Coach of the Year by USA Olympic Field Hockey.

“John is our human performance coach. He takes care of our power, agility, speed workouts and strength training,” says Sue. “Prior to our partnership with John, some of our girls were working out with male football players, and they were treated like second-class citizens. Since he came on board, he has them working together as a group of girls, with the latest equipment. His main focus is preventing injury, and he puts them on a regimented workout regime that begins at 6:30 am. He trains the girls twice a week for an hour on the turf, and an hour in the weight room. He also has them continue their workout all year long to keep them in peak condition.”

Coach's Path to Success

Jill Eisenberg, PT, DPT, of Physical Therapy at St. Luke’s was once a Lady Hornet, and recalls Coach’s total dedication to the sport. “What I remember most about Coach Sue was her ultimate love of the game of field hockey. She brought so much energy and enthusiasm to each and every practice, and game, you can tell she really loved the sport.”

Jill also said Coach had a unique ability to bring out the best of every player. “She really connects with her players. She spends a lot of time with them, one-on-one, to understand their challenges so they can overcome them and get better each game. She makes her players believe they can win every game because they've survived her tough practices.”

And tough practices they were. “When I recall why our team was so successful, my thoughts go back to those intense practices. Coach demanded hard work, discipline, and dedication out of us. But we all learned that when you put forth the effort, you reap the reward of being a successful team, year after year.”

Coach Sue's Impact

According to Jill, who went on to play field hockey at Michigan, Coach Sue is one of the most well-known high school field hockey coaches in the country. “She has elevated Emmaus field hockey in to a dynasty. Every year her players are highly recruited by Division 1 field hockey programs because college coaches know how well Coach prepares her players to excel at the next level.”

Thanks to Sue, field hockey teams practice all year, not just during in season. She also strongly encourages her girls to play for club teams during the off season, to stay in shape, and keep skills up. “There are summer and winter leagues that she connects us with, in addition to USA Field Hockey tournaments that Coach takes the team to each winter.”

Life Lessons Learned

To this day, Jill uses life lessons that Coach Sue taught her years ago. “I learned the importance of team work and leadership skills that I not only used in college, but also at work. She also taught me how to face and overcome adversity. Every student athlete faces ups and down in their career, and she taught us how to have patience, confidence, and ride them out.”

St. Luke's Support to Sports Second-to-None

According to John, St. Luke's provides an integrated, comprehensive level of care for local athletes that is second-to-none in the Lehigh Valley. “We have the highest number of orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists on staff to take care of and rehab that player. My job is to prevent them from getting injured in the first place, but if they do get injured, St. Luke's has such a comprehensive orthopedic staff, I know we can get that player back up to their peak performance level as soon as possible.”

New Facility To Open Next Month

St. Luke's is scheduled to open their new Sports Performance facility on November 1 at the St. Luke's West End Medical Center in Allentown. “We have the only sports performance facility of any health network in the region,” says John. “It houses a 60-yard turf field and is entirely enclosed. The indoor surface is sports-specific, so it’s comparable to actual field hockey playing conditions.”

Coach Sue is looking forward to moving her team to work out in the new facility. “It's going to house state-of-the-art fitness equipment,” says Sue. “Our main goal with the new facility is to build up the girls so they have adequate muscle to support the demands of the game, and to prevent injuries. With the new facility, we will have a much wider range of equipment than we've had up to now. They can get a more intense workout than they’ve had in the past. This will give them more to do during the off season. The facility has 60 yards of turf, and it’s climate-controlled.”


Denise E. Rader
Director, Network Media Relations
St. Luke's University Health Network

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