July 16, 2013
SPRINGFIELD – The Missouri State field hockey program has hired Sydney Van Der Merwe as its next assistant coach, head coach Gabby Gomez Sosa announced Tuesday (July 16).
“I’m thrilled to be welcoming Sydney into our program,” Gomez Sosa said. “He is passionate about our sport and passing on his knowledge to our athletes. His international experience, work ethic and knowledge of the game will bring an immediate impact to our program.”
A native of South Africa, Van Der Merwe comes to Missouri State after spending four years coaching field hockey at the high school level. He headed up the Hathaway Brown School Blazers program in Shaker Heights, Ohio from 2008-2012 and compiled a stellar 61-11-4 record during that time.
The chance to return to coaching and work at Missouri State was a tremendous opportunity, Van Der Merwe said.
"Coaching is my life. I'd do it 24/7 if I could," he said. "I'm excited to join MSU and help Gabby get the program to where it needs to be. I think we can be a force to be reckoned with.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to work at Missouri State."
While Van Der Merwe was at Hathaway Brown, the Blazers earned four final four appearances, a state runner-up placement and a state title in his four seasons, and Van Der Merwe picked up Coach of the Year honors after leading his squad to a 16-2-1 season in 2010.
He replaces Erika Dombkowski, who accepted a position at Springfield College in Springfield, Mass.
Prior to taking the head coach position at Hathaway Brown, Van Der Merwe compiled a wealth of athletic coaching and administrative experience. He was assistant field hockey coach from 2007-2008 at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.
From 2004-2007, Van Der Merwe served as high performance director and assistant athletics director at Krugersdrop High School in South Africa. Prior to that, he was a hockey coach with Hockey Wales, the governing body of the sport in Cardiff, United Kingdom.
Van Der Merwe started his coaching career from 2000-2002 as field hockey and cricket coach at St. Leonard’s School in Brighton, Australia. In 2004, he graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University in Cardiff, Wales with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in sport and physical education.
Van Der Merwe is slated to begin his duties at Missouri State on Aug. 1. His hire is pending final approval by the Missouri State University Board of Governors at its next meeting.