Melissa Krempa Mariano has taken the Franklin & Marshall field hockey team to new heights in her eight seasons at the helm of the program. With a 129-46 (.789) mark during her time with the Diplomats, Mariano is the winningest coach in F&M field hockey history, after passing Sue Kloss (1981-87, 76-46-10) for the record with a 5-0 victory over McDaniel on Nov. 2, 2013.
Mariano helped the Diplomats further solidify its place as one of the nation's premier Division III programs in 2016, compiling a 16-5 record and a 9-1 mark in the Centennial Conference, appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in six years, and reaching the Elite Eight for the first time since 1992. F&M retained a top-10 ranking throughout the season, reaching as high as No. 5 and finishing at No. 8 in the country, en route to an eighth consecutive winning season.
In 2015, the Diplomats tallied a 17-4, 10-0 CC mark and advanced to the NCAA Second Round for the second straight season to finish with the country's No. 5 ranking. Mariano was honored at the end of the 2015 campaign with the CC Coach of the Year award, the second accolade of her career.
F&M was nationally ranked throughout the season 2014, reaching as high as No. 5 in the standings, and advanced to its third straight CC Championship game. Following a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to Ursinus, the Diplomats handed Regis (Mass.) a 6-0 drubbing in the NCAA First Round and finished the year with an 18-3, 9-1 CC mark.
F&M rattled off five-consecutive shutouts from Sept. 7-23, which tied the CC record. The Diplomats blanked their opponents a program-record 12 times, the second-most all-time in the conference. On the season, F&M set the program record for goals scored with 80, breaking the previous record of 74 held by the 2004 team. Mariano and her squad rattled off 35 straight CC regular season wins, beginning in 2010 and coming to an end in 2014, a streak that sits second all-time in conference history.
In 2013, the Diplomats finished the year with a 17-2 mark and a perfect 10-0 regular season Centennial Conference (CC) record, the program’s second straight undefeated conference mark. F&M was nationally ranked throughout the season, reaching as high as No. 1 in the country by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA), the highest F&M field hockey ranking ever. F&M advanced all the way to the CC Championship game, falling in a 2-0 contest against Ursinus.
She guided the 2012 Diplomats to a school-record 18 wins, the program's first-ever Centennial Conference (CC) Championship, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. In 2011, Diplomats posted a then school-record 17 wins, secured the program's first-ever Centennial Conference regular season title and at one point were ranked No. 2 in the country by the NFHCA. F&M went on to reach the CC title game and the NCAA Sweet 16.
The accolades rolled in for Mariano following the Diplomats' stellar 2011 campaign as she was named the Centennial Conference Coach of the Year, NFHCA South Region Coach of the Year and the Synapse Sports National Coach of the Year.
In addition to Mariano's coaching honors, many Diplomats have received recognition under her tutelage. She's coached back-to-back CC Players of the Year (Becky Willert/2011, Maura Hennigan/2012), with Willert becoming the first-ever F&M player to receive the honor. In Mariano's tenure, she's coached six All-Americans (Becky Willert, 2011 First Team; Maura Hennigan, 2011 & 2012 First Team; Steph McDonald, 2012 Second Team, Mary Kate Olson, 2013, 2014, 2015 Second Team, Maria Guarisco, 2014 and 2015 First Team; Bridget Falcone, 2016 First Team), 19 All-Region selections and 30 All-CC performers.
Mariano was named Franklin & Marshall's 12th varsity field hockey coach on March 13, 2008. She joined the Diplomat staff after spending four years as the assistant field hockey coach, and strength and conditioning coordinator at William Smith College. During her tenure, she led the Herons to four consecutive Liberty League championships and four trips to the NCAA tournament, including one Final Four. Mariano also coached four First-Team All-Americans, and two Liberty League Rookies of the Year, along with numerous regional All-Americans and first team all-league selections.
A 2004 graduate of Middlebury College, Mariano enjoyed an exceptional career as a four-year starter on the field hockey squad. She was named a First-Team All-American and Academic All-American her senior year, leading the Panthers to the NESCAC Title and the NCAA Tournament Championship game. That year, she scored six goals and assisted on four others, finishing third on the team with 16 points. Krempa's efforts in the NCAA Tournament earned her a spot on the All-Tournament Team, and she was also named the National Womensfieldhockey.com Player of the Year.
In 2003, Mariano was a part of a team that set Middlebury records for wins (19), winning percentage (.950), winning streak (19), and goals in a season (71), while tying the school mark with seven shutouts. In 2004, she was named the Deborah Parton Memorial Award winner, presented to the Middlebury female athlete who exemplifies spirit and dedication, as well as the 2003 Panther Contribution Award for efforts on and off the hockey field and the 2002 Unsung Hero Award.
On top of her field hockey accolades, Mariano also was a member of the Middlebury Division I Alpine ski team for two seasons and spent another season as a member of the varsity golf team. From 1999-01, she spent her summers facilitating groups through team building exercises such as indoor rock climbing, outdoor high and low ropes and various other challenges at the Adirondack Center in St. Johnsville, NY.
In addition to her coaching duties, Mariano is also the department's Senior Woman Administrator (SWA). As the SWA, Mariano works as the advisor for Athletic Leadership Council, serves as an administrator at events and has Centennial Conference SWA responsibilities.
A native of Johnstown, N.Y., Mariano graduated cum laude from Middlebury in 2004 with bachelor's degrees in history and psychology. She presented an Honors Thesis in History, "The 'Woman Question': Exploring the Havoc it Wreaked on the Antebellum Abolition Movement" and presented advanced research in Psychology, "Looking Beyond the Lab: How Does Alcohol Myopia Manifest Itself in the Real World?"
|2009||10||8||.556||5||5||.500||Made CC Playoffs|
|2011||17||4||.810||10||0||1.000||First-Ever CC Regular Season Title; NCAA Berth|
|2012||18||2||.900||10||0||1.000||CC Champions; NCAA Berth; School Record 18-wins|
|2013||17||2||.895||10||0||1.000||CC Regular Season Title, CC Runner-Up, First-Ever No. 1 Ranking|
|2014||18||3||.857||9||1||.900||CC Runner-P, Sweet 16 Appearance|
|2015||17||4||.810||10||0||1.000||CC COY, CC Runner-Up, Sweet 16 Appearance|
|2016||16||5||.762||9||1||.900||CC Runner-Up, NCAA Elite 8 Appearance|
|9 Seasons||129||46||.737||71||19||.789||Became winningest coach in F&M history in 2013|