The Boyertown Area Times

Weissbach departing nationally-ranked Hill School

- By Evan Wheaton

>> Jennifer Weissbach is exiting the Hill School field hockey program on top.

Weissbach recently announced her impending departure from The Hill after nine years in Pottstown where she led the rise of the Hill field hockey program into the No. 2 national ranking after winning last year’s Pa. Independen­t Schools championsh­ip.

Weissbach, 31, accepted a dean of students position at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., where she will continue her coaching career as well. Weissbach, an instructor of science, will remain at Hill through the end of the academic year.

“I owe Hill a tremendous amount. I’ve grown up here profession­ally and also personally,” Weissbach said in an interview with PA PrepLive. “I came here as a 22-year-old college graduate not really sure what I wanted to do with my life. I think Hill helped me find my sense of purpose in this world … I leave with my heart full of love for Pottstown and for Hill School.”

A Dartmouth College alum who garnered National Field Hockey Coaches Associatio­n Division I National Academic Squad honors in her underclass­men years, Weissbach arrived at Hill upon graduation as an assistant coach. After three years, she took the reins of the program.

Of the 12 Mid-Atlantic Prep League titles Hill’s field hockey team has accumulate­d, Weissbach has overseen six of them. This past fall, the Blues won their first Pennsylvan­ia Independen­t Schools Athletic Associatio­n title after defeating three-time defending champion Episcopal Academy at the Proving Grounds in Conshohock­en on Nov. 16.

“What I remain most proud of is the culture that I’ve built,” Weissbach said. “The Hill field hockey program is certainly a strong program with a lot of talented players, but what makes us special is the people. I’ve had the opportunit­y to coach over my nine years here a number of incredibly talented kids, but more so, people who were dedicated to work harder than they ever have before.”

Weissbach’s coaching résumé also includes stops with the Dartmouth Field Hockey Summer Camp, Team Vermont indoor team, Blizzard Club team and World Camp USA Summer Camp. A 1,000-point scorer in high school, Weissbach has also coached girls basketball at Hill.

Having grown up in North Caldwell, N.J., Weissbach was accustomed to winning before her time in Pottstown. During her playing career, Weissbach won three New Jersey state championsh­ips at West Essex High School.

To reach that pinnacle again at the prep level as a coach was the highest point during Weissbach’s decorated tenure on Beech Street.

“For me, this departure is difficult because of how much I love this program and this school. But I think what made this last chapter so special in particular was accomplish­ing something no other team had ever accomplish­ed,” Weissbach said.

Hill finished the 2022 season 20-1 and as the topranked program in Pennsylvan­ia. The Blues took a 5-1 win over then-reigning PIAA Class A champion Wyoming Seminary on Oct.

19, by which point Hill was ranked No. 1 in the country.

The Blues’ lone loss of the year came after on Oct. 21, 2-0 to No. 1 Camden Catholic in New Jersey.

“My goal is to build a strong sense of purpose and identity in my players and that’s what field

hockey did for me,” Weissbach said. “To be able to do that with these kids, and be a special and informativ­e part of their lives, has been incredibly worth it.”

Assistant coaches Gabby Gomez and Alli Lokey currently remain on staff.

In an email sent out to the

school, Hill athletic director Seth Eilberg stated: “We have immediatel­y prioritize­d the position of Head Field Hockey Coach in our hiring process, and I am very excited about the depth of quality candidates I know will have an interest in working at Hill in this capacity.”

 ?? AUSTIN HERTZOG - MEDIANEWS GROUP) ?? Head coach Jen Weissbach, standing second from left, is departing The Hill School after leading the team to the PAISAA championsh­ip in 2022.
AUSTIN HERTZOG - MEDIANEWS GROUP) Head coach Jen Weissbach, standing second from left, is departing The Hill School after leading the team to the PAISAA championsh­ip in 2022.

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