Story Courtesy of Denison Sports Information Department
Denison University has announced that Michael Caravana will serve as acting head coach of the Big Red field hockey team for the upcoming 2016 season, while the program's current head coach, P.J. Soteriades, is away on maternity leave. Caravana will remain in his current role as head coach of Denison's men's lacrosse program, and he will coach both programs through the fall.
"It is a very exciting time in Denison athletics," noted Director of Athletics, Nan Carney-DeBord. "Leadership, teamwork and competitive excellence are core values of our entire intercollegiate athletics program, and Mike Caravana is a master coach. His willingness to mentor any of our student-athletes at Denison and contribute to any program within our Department of Athletics is exemplary. Mike's direction and mentorship will be great additions to the competitive advantage our field hockey program already enjoys."
Caravana has led the men's lacrosse team at Denison as head coach for 23 years. In May, he became the program's all-time leader in wins, surpassing Hall of Famer Tommy Thomsen, who coached the Big Red from 1965 to 1990. Caravana boasts a career record of 256-87, which translates to a .746 winning percentage. He has taken Denison to a pair of NCAA Championship semifinal contests in addition to nine NCAA quarterfinal appearances. In 1994, he was named the USILA Division III Coach of the Year, and in 2014, Lacrosse Magazine recognized him as its Coach of the Year.
Caravana is no stranger to pulling double duty at Denison. In 1990, he began his career in Granville as head coach of both the men's soccer and men's lacrosse programs. He went on to coach both sports for seven seasons, leading the soccer team to 58 wins, highlighted by an 11-6-0 record in 1994.
"I am excited that I was asked to serve as coach of the field hockey team," said Caravana. "I look to maintain and help build upon the strong tradition that has already been established by Coach Soteriades.
"I am both enthusiastic and eager to get started, and the preseason can't come quickly enough. I am confident that my coaching and teaching experiences have prepared me well to achieve success with both the field hockey and lacrosse teams this fall."
Soteriades has been Denison's field hockey coach since 2000, and she is the program's all-time leader in wins with 152. Under her guidance, Denison has advanced to the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament 11 times, and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice. In 2011, Soteriades was named both the region's and conference's Coach of the Year after leading the Big Red to an 18-2 record. In addition, she has served in multiple roles within the department, including an appointment as interim head coach of the women's lacrosse team, which won the NCAC championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament that year.
"I am very excited that Coach Caravana is willing to take on this role in my absence," said Soteriades. "I respect Mike as a mentor, coach and colleague, and I believe that with his experience and demonstrated success, he will bring a fresh perspective to the team that will strengthen the program for years to come."
Assistant field hockey coach Kelly Blackhurst will remain in her current role, as she returns for her third season with the Big Red this fall.
Denison is coming off a 12-8 campaign in 2015 that resulted in a third-place finish in the NCAC. The 2016 season will begin on Saturday, Sept. 3, at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn. The 2016 home opener is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, against conference opponent Oberlin College.