Chambersburg field hockey program has a new coach
Chambersburg athletic director Jeremy Flores believes all of the right boxes were checked when the school board approved Danielle Clutter as the Trojans' new field hockey coach on Wednesday evening.
Player at a high level? Check.
Coaching experience? Check.
Knows the program and community? Check.
Has a teaching background? Check.
Flores said, "I think we're lucky to be able to hire somebody of that quality."
Clutter is a 2009 CASHS graduate who played four years at Old Dominion, a school typically ranked nationally in Division I field hockey. She scored 15 goals and had three assists in her career with the Monarchs, following in the footsteps of her older sister Paige Clutter, who also played at ODU.
Since her graduation in 2014, Clutter has been picking up valuable coaching experience.
"I coached in summer camps at ODU, and in camps at Spooky Nook (in Lancaster)," Clutter said. "I've coached for a club (Focus) in Williamsburg, and I'm currently coaching for a club (757) in Norfolk. I've been a head coach for the U19 and U16 teams, and I've also helped with the developmental ages of 5 to 13 in the Virginia Beach area."
Her next challenge will be to take over at Chambersburg and try to raise the Trojans' profile. Jen Amsley, who resigned last fall, coached for 11 years and compiled a record of 85-93-5, including 9-7-1 in her final season.
Clutter said, "I know the team will graduate some seniors, but I'm confident in the core group we have coming back."
The new coach's top goals are to get kids started in the sport at an earlier age and to teach "some new tactical and technical skills that have developed recently."
"To build a program, you know you have get started at a young age," she said. "We need to change that thinking so we have more interest in the sport earlier. I think doing showcases and having club opportunities are big, as well as clinics by the staff. Compared to a sport like soccer, field hockey has a lot more scholarship opportunities for girls."
Flores said, "She's a graduate, so she knows the community, and she went off to compete in one of the best field hockey programs in the country. What she got there as far as experience was high class."
Clutter will be moving back to town from Norfolk, where she has been teaching health and phys ed for grades K to 5, and hopes to eventually get a teaching job at Chambersburg.
"Having teaching experience is a positive," Flores said. "We believe coaching is teaching, but in an outdoor classroom. I think her having that background will be beneficial."
Because each of her coaches were what she would call "disciplined," it's not a surprise Clutter's style will be similar.
"I like to focus on details," she said. "That doesn't mean I don't like to have fun - I'm not that strict. But I want them to learn more than anything."