Think about the best coaches throughout the history of the NCAA. John Wooden retroactively won one NCAA National Championship with Purdue before going on to win 10 as a coach, his first coming at age 54. Bear Bryant was on the 1934 Alabama team that was recognized as a national champion before going on to win 6 titles as a coach, his first coming at age 48. Nick Saban never won a national championship as a player. Mike Kryzewski never won a national championship as a player. Pat Summit never won a national championship as a player.
Erin Matson is 23-years-old. And she already has enough rings to fill up an entire hand after winning 5 out of the last 6 NCAA DI Field Hockey National Championships. 4 of those coming as a player, and 1 in her first year as a head coach this season.
Obviously she inherited a wagon of a program. But they're only a wagon because she made them one during her 5-year playing career. She was a 5x ACC Player of the Year in all of those years, and was a 3x National Player of the Year.
Imagine how violently ill all the other coaches in the country have to be right now. You couldn't even sniff a national championship before because Erin Matson was playing for UNC. And just when you thought she's finally gone, now you can't even sniff a national championship again because Erin Matson is coaching UNC. All the same girls she was just playing with 365 days ago. Maybe girls are different but it's so hard to explain how impressive that is.
She was just living and partying with all of her players a year ago. Heck, even the freshmen this year who she didn't get a chance to actually play with. Chances are they at least partied together once during their recruiting trips. I just don't know if there could be a guy in men's sports who is able to command the room as a head coach the year after he graduates. At least not enough for there to be no let down at all, and go on to win a national championship. Those are all your boys. At some point they're going to forget that you're the coach and treat you like you're just one of the guys again. But somehow Erin Matson was able to step right in and win another title for the Tar Heels. That's sick stuff.
Sidenote: She's from the Philly area so we'll be claiming all those National Championships as our own. Philly continues to be Titletown, USA.