Jess Seren, head coach of the Geneseo field hockey team, knows a thing or two about success in the sport. In her sixth year as head coach for the Knights, Seren has led the Knights to the SUNYAC tournament the past three years. As the most-winning coach in the program’s history, Seren has shown her ability to transform the Knights into powerhouses in the SUNYAC conference. It was just one word that drew Seren to field hockey.
“I loved ice hockey growing up, and since our school didn’t offer that sport, I decided to choose what I thought was the next best thing: something with the word hockey in it,” she said.
She quickly found success in the sport and continued her playing career at SUNY Cortland. There, she was a four-year starter before graduating in 2006. While playing for Cortland, she earned second team All-Region from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association on three occasions, was a three-time All-SUNYAC selection and was the SUNYAC Rookie of the Year in 2002.
During her four years, the Red Dragons made the NCAA tournament four times. But it was Seren’s fifth trip there that was the most special. This time she was on the sidelines, coaching the 2010 Knights team to its first tournament berth.
“My greatest accomplishment here at Geneseo has been winning the conference and going to the NCAA tournament back in 2010,” Seren said. “There are many teams and coaches who don’t get a chance to experience either throughout their careers, so I feel extremely fortunate, and it’s something I will never forget.
“Understanding your team from year to year and making the necessary adjustments is a challenge that presents itself every season,” she added. “No team is ever the same, so you have to constantly be able to adapt and figure out what works best given what you have. It’s a big puzzle, and watching the pieces come together and fall into place each season is what makes coaching so fun and rewarding.”
The Knights stand at 3-3 going into conference play, and Seren said she remains hopeful for this team.
“Winning the SUNYAC title is a goal of ours every year, but we understand that in order to get there, we have to take it one day and game at a time,” she said.