Q & A With Meghan Beamesderfer

Sept. 21, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa alumna Meghan Beamesderfer is one of the most accomplished student-athletes to compete in field hockey for the Hawkeyes. Now she joins her former coaches Tracey Griesbaum and Lisa Cellucci as an assistant. Iowa (7-1 overall) opens Big Ten Conference play Friday against Michigan State at Grant Field beginning at 3 p.m.

Catch us up on what you’ve been doing since your playing days ended:
I was an undergraduate assistant (at the University of Iowa), then I graduated in December and went home and worked as an emergency certified speech pathologist in an inner-city elementary school. This job opened up and I came back here.

I would always want to come back to Iowa, but I did think I was going to stay back (in Pennsylvania) for a while because I was attempting to do grad school, too . I didn’t know this was going to open up, so when it did, I didn’t know I would ever have this chance again so I had to take it.

What things keep pulling you back to this program?
The people that surround the program; it’s one of the top programs in the country. Everybody — the administration, the coaches, the team; the way we work together as one big team — the passion and determination everyone has every day whether we’re in the office, whether we’re on the field or at a training table, it’s awesome to be around.

How has your role changed from being an undergraduate assistant coach to what you are doing now?
Last year I was still technically a student, so my role was more to push the athletes and then to play at practice; to do film, to code the games. This year I do a lot more equipment duty, I do all our traveling stuff; different roles that are inside the office, where last year I was more on the field.

You started all 84 games of your career. What is the feeling now watching the action from the sideline?
It’s hard to not be able to have an impact on the game but I feel like with the experience I have I can also give the girls a lot of input. I’m excited for all the girls because I played with two of those classes, so it’s pretty exciting.

How does coaching fit into your long-term career goals?
It’s always been one of my goals; I didn’t know if it would be later down the road or if I would go into speech pathology and then coach on the side. I’m excited that I took this position and I absolutely love field hockey; it’s one of my strengths as an individual and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Once you get around that environment it’s so contagious and it sticks with people.

Do any of the awards or honors you received as a Hawkeye student-athlete carry any added significance for you?
Not really. My favorite “award” was getting to the Final Four; that was by far my favorite experience as a Hawkeye (in 2008).

How does it feel to coach along the same people you played for?
It’s an amazing experience. I have always looked up to Tracey (Griesbaum) and Lisa (Cellucci) and their coaching philosophy. As a student-athlete I bought into how they coached and even more so now that I can show the girls that I believe in what they’re doing and I think the three of us work well together.

Are there aspects about coaching field hockey that you enjoy more than playing it?
Not yet. I would still love to put on my uniform and get out there and play.

In what ways did the University of Iowa prepare you for life after college?
My time management; that kind of lacked when I was a freshman and sophomore, but once I got into the swing of doing things…I was an elementary education major at first and then I switched to speech. Once I got into something…I loved learning about speech and hearing. Once I loved learning about something and then I loved playing, it was easy — not easy — but it was easier flowing from class to practice.

When can Hawkeye fans expect to see a return to those seasons of double-digit victories that you enjoyed as a player?
We had a good start to our season. Things are looking up and as long as the girls continue to work as hard as they are — this year; the near future.