DeVries to depart after season

Matt Peters

Family has always been a focus of the Kent State field hockey team. It is also the reason why head coach Kerry DeVries is stepping down at the conclusion of this season.

“It was a very hard decision and a decision where we thought about family first,” DeVries said.

Each year, the field hockey team refers to themselves as the “Kent Family Unit,” often wearing T-shirts bearing this name. DeVries is also known for recruiting players from across the globe.

This time around, it will be DeVries and her family heading overseas. She will follow her husband, Raimo, and two children on a three-year assignment to Brussels, Belgium. Raimo, who works for Fifth Third Bank, has been offered an assignment as Vice President of International Corporate Banking.

As a result, Helen Knull has been promoted to associate head coach. Null, a two-time All-American athlete, is entering her third year as a coach with the Flashes after a stellar career at Kent State.

DeVries began coaching the team in 1997, when it was barely competitive within its own conference, and turned it into a nationally ranked team. The Flashes closed out the 2002 season ranked seventh in the nation, the team’s highest.

Since DeVries took over the program nine years ago, the Flashes have made five NCAA Tournament appearances, captured four Mid-American Conference Tournament Championships, earned four MAC regular season championships and compiled a 118-56 record. DeVries’ teams have never finished with a conference record below 6-4.

“Our program has achieved tremendous success under Kerry, and because of Kerry, the Mid-American Conference also has improved,“ Athletic Director Laing Kennedy said in a press release. “She deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the MAC’s success.“

Even when DeVries moves on from Kent State, she said she will continue to make sure the standard she set isn’t forgotten.

“I will make it perfectly clear that whoever is the coach at Kent State after me sets a standard to be the best in the country,” DeVries said.

Contact editor Matt Peters at [email protected].