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Kate Windett Austin named DSBA Coach of the Year

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Four state titles and 74-1-1 record over four years at the helm

Cape Henlopen field hockey coach Kate Windett Austin was recently selected as Tubby Raymond Coach of the Year by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association. Austin will be honored at a luncheon on Presidents' Day, Monday, Feb. 15, at the Sheraton South in Christiana. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at

The Delaware Team of the Year, Athlete of the Year, Buddy Hurlock Inspirational Award and Herm Reitzes Award for Service will also be presented at the luncheon.

The DSBA has been in existence for more than 60 years. The Coach of the Year Award winner is chosen from a nomination list that spans all levels of Delaware sports. It was created in 2000 and first awarded to University of Delaware coach Tubby Raymond.

"Wow, that's a great honor," said Austin when hearing news of the award. "I'm obviously more interested in awards for our team and our kids. Coaching Cape kids the last four years has been great, not just the talent but the commitment they bring to the field. Our kids know how to compete."

"Windy" is what her players call her. She took over from Nicole Catanzaro Hughes after coach Cat broke through with a 19-0 state championship season in 2011. Catanzaro's four-year mark at Cape was an impressive 66-4-1. The cumulative 12 year record of Coaches Frampton, Catanzaro and Austin is 206-8-3.

Cat took over from Amanda Frampton after a 16-0 regular season and four year mark of 68-3-1. Frampton also led Cape to the state finals in 2004, where the Vikings lost to Caesar Rodney 3-0. The Riders were coached by Debbie Windett, and her daughter Kate was a prominent player on the team.

Any pressure on field hockey players and coaches to perform at Cape is imagined, self-imposed but never clearly stated. The mission each season is to win games, defend reputation and to have a shot in the tournament to win it all. But the great history, which includes a state championship team in 1979 under Carolyn Ivins and another under Ruth Skoglund in 1995 only produced those two state championships prior to the 2011 season and the subsequent run of five straight state titles.

Austin's four years as a high school head coach show a cumulative record of 74-1-1, including four straight state championships and a state tournament record of 16-0. Cape has also beaten Severna Park the last two seasons; the Falcons won the Maryland 4A Maryland state championship.

Cape hockey has not lost a game to a Delaware team since losing to Sussex Tech 1-0 in the semifinals of the state tournament in 2010.

"Honestly, nobody on this team knows any numbers about winning streaks," said captain Erin Coverdale after Cape beat Mt.

Pleasant in the state tournament 3-1. "We just play until the game is over. If we win that's great, and if not we will handle it and move on."

The approach at Cape since 2009, which has seen the crossover girls win a total of 12 state championships between lacrosse (7) and field hockey (5) is not to reload but to reconfigure.

"We look at players from our JV program (52-2-11) over the last five years and incoming freshman and returning players and put a team together," Austin said. "Each year we lose some great players to graduation who have led us to championships, but we have depth of talent - it's up to all of us to keep it going."

Note: Previous recipients of the Coach of the Year Award with local ties include Polytech field hockey coach Lynn Richardson in 2013, Cape girls' lacrosse coach P.J. Kesmodel in 2012, Indian River football coach Ray Steele in 2011, Tower Hill field hockey coach Robin Adair in 2007 and Delmar football coach Dave Hearn in 2002.

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Original Publication Date: January 22, 2016

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