Just 22, former UNC field hockey star now the head coach

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina has hired former star player Erin Matson - barely a month after she graduated - to take over its field hockey program after the retirement of 10-time NCAA champion Karen Shelton.

The school announced the move Tuesday, roughly two months after Shelton announced she would retire as the sport's winningest coach.

The 22-year-old Matson was the star on four of Shelton's NCAA championship teams, including last year in an unbeaten season while finishing as the career scoring leader in NCAA tournament play. She's also the Atlantic Coast Conference's career scoring leader and the only five-time league offensive player of the year.

Matson has been a member of the U.S. national team since she was 17.

"To say I'm excited and honored to be the head coach of the UNC field hockey program is an understatement - this is a dream come true," Matson said as part of the announcement by UNC. "This program means the world to me, and I will do whatever it takes to continue the excellence that is UNC Field Hockey. I want to thank Bubba Cunningham, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and the members of the Board of Trustees for this opportunity and for believing in me. I intend to honor the University of North Carolina, Coach Shelton, and the program's history while working to find ways to achieve new heights, side-by-side with our Carolina community."