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ODU Hall of Fame Induction for Laura Moliken

Ursinus Director of Athletics Laura Moliken was inducted into the Old Dominion University Athletics Hall of Fame Sept. 23, at her alma mater.

“I feel honored and privileged to be here tonight,” she said in accepting the honor. “I think anytime a field hockey player receives an award like this, it’s a tribute to all of us who played and represented ODU Field Hockey; we were a team — and i believe the unselfish attitudes are what helped us win.”

A two-time NFHCA All-American, Moliken, ODU Class of 1993, scored 35 goals as a senior to rank fifth nationally. She played on three straight national championship teams from 1990-92 and still stands fifth in school history with 79 goals and eighth with 171 career points.

Moliken’s Old Dominion teams compiled a 98-4-1 record and won three consecutive NCAA Championships. A team captain, she was named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team in 1990 and 1992, and was twice named a Second Team All-American. She also played on the U.S. National Team in 1991-92.

At ODU she played for legendary coach and 1973 Ursinus alum, Beth Anders, from whom she learned that success is the result of a team, coaches, an administration, a greater community such as parents and others who offer encouragement, and mentors, she said.

Moliken adds to her previous Hall of Fame inductions: the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame, William Penn High School and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Hall of Fame.

“All Hall of Fame recognitions I’ve received are special – in different ways,” she said. “When you play and coach, you certainly don’t do it for any recognition that you might receive down the road. But, it is nice to be recognized by others for your efforts and contributions,” she said.  

ODU, she says, holds a special place in her heart because of her teammates and coaches there. “I grew so much as a player, and later while honing my coaching skills at summer camps. The people I met at ODU helped shape me as a player, coach, and as a professional.”

Moliken was named Director of Athletics at Ursinus College in 2010 after serving a year as interim director. She has added new hires to the staff, implemented new policies for all facets of the Athletic Department and supported improving athletic facilities, most recently in 2011, the renovation of Patterson Field.

Coming to Ursinus in 1999 as the head field hockey coach, she coached the team for 12 years and shepherded it as it transitioned to Division III and the Centennial Conference in 2003. Under her leadership, the Bears won seven consecutive Centennial Conference championships, the 2003 ECAC Mid-Atlantic Region Championship, made five trips to the NCAA national championships and won the 2006 NCAA National Championship. She is a three-time South Region coach of the year, three-time Centennial Conference coach of the year and was the 2006 National Coach of the Year.

The holder of the Eleanor Frost Snell Chair of Health and Physical Education, Moliken and her husband Gabe live in Collegeville with their three sons, Ryan, Max and William. -- by Wendy Greenberg and Andy Edwards