GILBERT, Ariz. --- Field hockey has been her life, so it was only a matter of time.
But earlier this summer, Enza Steele got the call. University of Lynchburg's legendary field hockey coach will be inducted into the National Field Hockey Coaches Association's Hall of Fame.
A 40-year staple in the Lynchburg athletic department, Steele has led Lynchburg to an unprecedented 19 Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships, more than the league's other eight programs combined.
Her 584 wins at Lynchburg rank sixth among NCAA coaches in any division, and she has coached 24 All-Americans.
"Coach Steele has an incredible passion for students and a unique drive and ability to put students in a position for success," Lynchburg director of athletics Jon Waters said. "She has impacted our entire campus in the classroom and through her coaching career. She is one of the true legends to ever call Lynchburg home."
Steele came to Lynchburg in 1979 and turned a perennial .500 program into a national powerhouse in a matter of years. She coached Lynchburg to an Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women national runner-up finish in her third season and saw Lynchburg win the first three ODAC championships when the league began sponsoring field hockey in 1982.
Since then, the Hornets have reached 17 NCAA tournaments and four national quarterfinal games.
"The committee was so impressed with what Enza has accomplished across her outstanding career," Julie Ryan, the NFHCA's Hall of Fame Committee chair, said. "We are excited to recognize her impact on our sport and her student-athletes over her illustrious career."
In addition to her coaching success in field hockey, Steele led the Lynchburg women's lacrosse program for 20 seasons to the tune of a 215-137-3 record and five ODAC championships; her combined record makes Steele the winningest coach in the history of ODAC athletics.
Steele also serves as Lynchburg's senior woman administrator and is a member of the university's faculty in the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance.
She graduated with a bachelor's degree from William Paterson University in 1976 and a master's degree from Ithaca College in 1978.
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Steele and the other member of the NFHCA's class of 2019, longtime Watertown (Mass.) High School coach Eileen Donahue, will be officially inducted on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 at the NFHCA's convention in Lake Mary, Fla.
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--- This release is courtesy of the University of Lynchburg sports information department. ---