SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University Athletics announced today head field hockey coach Joppe de Vries has decided to step down from the program after three seasons to return home with his family and pursue other coaching opportunities.
"Bryant field hockey is on the right track and the future is very bright for the Bulldogs," de Vries said. "This was a difficult decision but the right decision for my family during this time and I certainly want to thank Bill Smith and the entire Bryant administration for making us feel at home and always being there for my family. Bryant will always have a special place in my heart and will certainly be missed. I look forward to visiting in the future and cheering on the Bulldogs."
A native of the Netherlands, de Vries arrived at Bryant in 2017 from the University of Maryland. He produced five all-conference honorees, including standout Victoria Newbill who was selected to compete at the USA Young Women's National Championships in 2017 and 2018, during his time in Smithfield.
During his tenure, Bryant's defensive unit was consistently ranked among the best in the nation, including top-15 nationally for saves per game for the past two seasons.
"On behalf of the entire athletic department, I want to thank Joppe for guiding our field hockey program with outstanding leadership and dedication for the past three years," said Director of Athletics Bill Smith. "His commitment to the program during his time at Bryant and his ability to recruit outstanding student-athletes is a tribute to his leadership that he brought to the program each and every day. He is an outstanding coach and we certainly wish him and his family all the best in the future."
Assistant coach Laura Gebhart will serve as the interim head coach in 2020. A four-time all-American at Penn State, Gebhart just completed her first season on the coaching staff at Bryant in 2019 after previously serving as a coach at the University of Vermont.