Marcia Pankratz is in her second stint with the University of Michigan field hockey program, returning to the reigns as head coach on Jan. 15, 2009, after a brief hiatus from coaching. Pankratz previously served as the Wolverines' head coach for nine seasons (1996-2004) and led U-M to the 2001 NCAA title -- the first by a women's team in the history of Michigan athletics.
The 2012 season was another successful one for Pankratz and the Wolverines, as the team used a second-half surge, winning eight of its final 10 games, to claim second place in the Big Ten regular-season standings and tournament and qualify for its third straight NCAA Tournament.
Pankratz led the Wolverines to back-to-back Big Ten titles in 2010 and 2011. The team captured the conference regular-season title outright in 2011, earning Pankratz her second straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honor and fifth overall conference award, and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. In 2010, Michigan earned a share of the Big Ten regular-season crown and claimed the Big Ten Tournament title. The 2010 Wolverines, featuring three NFHCA All-Americans, boasted an eight-game turnaround in the win column from 2009 and had six wins over top-20 opponents, including three top-10 victories.
Michigan's rise to prominence among intercollegiate field hockey's elite programs can be traced directly to Pankratz. After finishing sixth in the Big Ten during her first season as a head coach, she executed one of the greatest turnarounds in U-M sports history, leading the Wolverines to a 7-3 mark in the Big Ten to tie for the regular-season title in 1997. From 1997-2004, Michigan finished third or higher in the conference each season and snared five Big Ten regular-season crowns. U-M boasted undefeated (6-0) Big Ten records in both 2000 and 2002. U-M also advanced to the Big Ten Tournament championship game eight times, winning the playoff in 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2010.
The winningest coach in Wolverine field hockey history, Pankratz holds a career record of 199-90 (.689), including a 65-29 mark (.691) in Big Ten play. Included in her total are the four highest single-season win totals in school history, including a school-record 20 in 1999. She is tied for second in Big Ten annals with five Coach of the Year awards, receiving the honor in 1997, 2000, 2002, 2010 and 2011. Pankratz was also awarded NFHCA West Region Coach of the Year honors in 1999, 2000 and 2003.
The Wolverines boasted an All-American on their roster in 12 of Pankratz's 13 seasons, including a program-high four in 2000 and 2002. During her tenure, Michigan had 17 different players combine for 27 All-America citations. U-M also claimed 12 Big Ten Player of the Year awards -- offensive, defensive and athlete -- and Wolverine players swept the yearly honors in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Pankratz first joined the Wolverines' head coaching staff in August 1996 following her stint with the U.S. National Team at the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. She scored three of the team's eight goals during the 1996 Olympics, building on her play at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Pankratz spent nine years with U.S. Field Hockey team (1985-90, 1994-96), playing in 110 international matches, highlighted by competition in seven high-profile tournaments -- the Champion's Trophy team (1995), the Pan-American team (1995, '87), the World Cup team (1986, '94) and the U.S. Olympic team (1988, '96). Pankratz has participated in three Olympic Festivals (1985, '87 and '89), and helped the U.S. to a pair of silver medals in the 1985 and 1987 Pan American Games, as well as the bronze medal at the 1994 World Cup. As a result of her accomplishments on the international scene, Pankratz was inducted into the United States Field Hockey Association Hall of Fame in 2004.
A collegiate standout at the University of Iowa (1982-85), Pankratz played forward for the Hawkeyes and finished her career with 76 goals to list third among all-time Iowa goal scorers. Twice honored as Iowa's Female Athlete of the Year and as a Honda Broderick Sports Award field hockey finalist (1985, '86), Pankratz was also the recipient of Iowa's 1986 Big Ten Medal of Honor as the university's top academic and athletic graduating senior. In addition, Pankratz was named to the 1984 NCAA All-Tournament team when she helped the Hawkeyes advance to the championship game against Old Dominion.
Within the Big Ten Conference, Pankratz left a legacy of accomplishments and individual awards. An All-American and All-Big Ten first team selection in both 1984 and 1985, Pankratz was the Big Ten's Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year in 1984 after leading the league in scoring. The conference also tabbed her as the field hockey Big Ten Athlete of the 1982-92 Decade.