Karen Shelton never planned to be a head field hockey coach, not at North Carolina nor anywhere else.
But as a three-time national champion and national player of the year at West Chester State, as well as a standout on the U.S. national team, she boasted more experience than any other potential candidate when the UNC job opened in 1981.
Dolly Hunter, the Tar Heels’ coach from 1976-80, realized this. So looking to leave the field hockey program in good hands, she called Shelton.
Thirty-seven years later, Shelton has led her teams to seven national championships and has mentored hundreds of players.