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Varsity Field Hockey
Former US National Women’s Field Hockey Team Member
Building a Winning Program at Oldfields
Boarding school life is in Caroline Blaum’s blood, so it’s no surprise that she ended up at Oldfields School. What is surprising, however, is the path that led her there.
The daughter of a faculty member at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, located in northeastern Pennsylvania, Caroline grew up surrounded by a supportive independent school community. As she puts it, “the independent school environment has not only been an educational benefit, but a way of life for as long as I can remember.”
Blaum’s time at boarding school was also a major contributor to her passion for the game of field hockey. Recruited as a junior at Wyoming Seminary, she chose to play Division 1 field hockey for the University of Iowa.
While at Iowa, she was a four year team captain, four-time recipient of the prestigious Dr. Christine Grant Leadership Award, and twice received The Nancy McClinden Carr Award. Blaum’s other honors while playing in college include being selected as a First Team National All-American, First Team All Big Ten, a Big Ten Tournament MVP, and leading her team to the 2008 NCAA Final Four in her senior year.
After graduating from Iowa in 2008, Blaum was thrilled to be selected to the US Women’s National Field Hockey Team. In her second year on the National Team, she also accepted the position of assistant field hockey coach at her college alma mater. Though she loved playing and coaching the sport, “I didn’t feel like I was doing any one thing 110 percent,” she explains. Since Blaum loves working with kids, she decided to direct her passion for field hockey towards coaching high school students.
This is how Caroline ended up on the campus of Oldfields School, an all girls school in Maryland’s horse country. Blaum attributes her desire to coach at the high school level to an attraction to teaching the sport in a developmental and raw stage. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of coaching at this level, she explains, is experiencing the little “light bulbs” that go on in the girls’ heads each day as they continue to improve. She wants her players to achieve success, as well as gain a greater understanding of the sport of field hockey and what it can do for them later in life.
“I have had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest field hockey minds in the world,” explains Blaum, “but it is my own high school and college experiences that have lead me to where I am today.” During her playing career at Iowa, under the coaching staff of Tracey Griesbaum and Lisa Cellucci, Blaum “discovered the extraordinary influence that athletics can have on a young woman’s life.”
Why did Blaum choose to come to Oldfields to share her talents and love for the game with the students? She references the rich tradition and feeling of family that sets Oldfields apart from its peer institutions.
Though she is content to devote her attention to coaching field hockey, one can often find Blaum jumping onto the field at practice, her own stick in hand, to show the girls how to carry out a particular drill or play. One thing is clear; Blaum is focused on building a winning program at Oldfields and teaching the sport of field hockey to a new generation of girls.