Sept. 2, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Former Hawkeye field hockey standout Mary Koboldt is one of six individuals who will be inducted into the National Iowa Varsity Club and the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame.
“I was very surprised and very excited,” said Koboldt. “It is a big honor. I know a couple of the other field hockey people (Hall of Famers) are my old teammates, so it is very exciting to be a part of that group.”
A member of the 23rd class, she will be honored at Saturday’s home football game against Tennessee Tech and inducted in a ceremony on Saturday night. The Iowa field hockey program will honor Koboldt at its game Sunday against Massachusetts.
“It is going to be great,” said Koboldt about the ceremony. “It is very exciting to be able to share with my family.”
A Hawkeye midfielder from 1982-85, the former U.S. National Team member and U.S. Olympian was a three-time All-Big Ten honoree and a two-time All-American. Koboldt, a member of four NCAA Tournament teams and two Big Ten championship teams, was named to the NCAA all-Tournament team after leading Iowa to its first ever trip to the NCAA Final Four in 1984. As a senior in 1985, she was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and was a nominee for the Honda Broderick Award, as the top collegiate female athlete in the country.
Koboldt, her teammates, and her coaches, helped lay the foundation at Iowa for years of success to follow.
“It was great because you always went into a game, because of our success, with great confidence,” said Koboldt, a St. Louis area native. “The East Coast was the hotbed of field hockey. It was so nice to have the confidence to go out and beat the East Coast teams.
“Success breeds success. Our coaches did a great job of bringing in a good foundation of players. It was a great experience.”
Koboldt enjoyed great success in the U.S. field hockey program, like a number of former Hawkeyes, due in part because of their development in Iowa City.
“I couldn’t have asked for any better coaches than Judith Davidson and Michelle Madison,” said Koboldt. “They knew the level of field hockey that was going on in the U.S. program, and they knew what it took to get there. They were able to tell me that I had the talent, I just needed to work at it. They were able to guide me in the right direction and were extremely helpful, both on a personal and coaching level.”
For Koboldt, the University of Iowa is a special place.
“The university has a number of top programs, and I knew I wanted to get a business degree,” said Koboldt, who earned a marketing degree from Iowa. “From the first time we visited Iowa, we always remarked on how nice the people are. The people are great. It was a very warm, comforting feeling from the start. It is a great school.”
Koboldt, who still is best friends with a number of her former Hawkeye teammates, will be honored at Iowa’s game Sunday. The Iowa field hockey program will also honor the 1986 national championship team that day, including Davidson, then Iowa’s head coach. The game at Grant Field against Massachusetts is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
The Hawkeyes, ranked 23rd nationally, host Kent State tonight in their home opener at 5 p.m. at Grant Field. Admission is free.