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Abbey names field hockey coach

Belmont Abbey has named Meghan Smiga as its next head field hockey coach, Vice President and Director of Athletics Stephen Miss announced.

Smiga recently completed her second year at Concordia University in Wisconsin, including a stint as interim head coach. In 2018, the Hawks recorded their winningest season in program history.

“When conducting coaching searches, we occasionally come across a candidate who quite clearly is positioned to and on the cusp of accomplishing great things in her chosen sport,” Miss said. “Passionate and dynamic, Meghan Smiga - the daughter of an Abbey alumna, a Division I and Division II student-athlete, and a collegiate coach who recently was elevated to interim head coach - is, quite simply, a leader, and we are thrilled to announce that she will be guiding our Field Hockey program to regional and national relevance.

“We knew Coach Smiga, a woman of strong faith who is aligned with and embraces fully our mission, would be a great fit for our culture when she reiterated repeatedly throughout the search process that coaching at the Abbey was her “dream job” precisely because of the required formation and development of our students as whole persons, body, mind, and soul, which is expected of and contributed to by all who serve at Belmont Abbey College.”

A native of Fairfax County, Va., Smiga is no stranger to the Piedmont region, having played at South Atlantic Conference Carolinas rivals Queens and Newberry. She started her career at Division I Radford, where she was named the NorPac Player of the Week once before the program was disbanded following her freshman year.

She has also coached with the Charlotte Ambush Club Team and the South Mecklenburg High School varsity team.

“I am elated and grateful to the esteemed Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B., President Thierfelder and Stephen Miss for affording me the opportunity to join the Belmont Abbey family steeped with rich tradition,” Smiga said. “ May God’s grace and years of engrained values be the guiding force behind my new coaching position in producing Belmont Abbey-proud student-athlete role models.”

Smiga graduated from Queens in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise sports science. Next month, she will complete her M.B.A. in Health Care Administration.

She will begin her duties on May 15.