Leslie LaFronz has been the head coach of the Kean University field hockey program for eight years entering the 2017 season. She has won 99 games at Kean and qualified for the postseason in every year but one during her time in Union.
The program posted arguably its best season in history in 2016 with a school-best 18-4 record. The team was ranked as high as No. 16 nationally. LaFronz was named the NJAC Coach of the Year and the team set another program record by winning 14-straight games at the start of the season. Each of Kean's losses came against teams ranked in the Top-20. The Cougars advanced to the ECAC Championship final.
LaFronz guided the Cougars to 14 wins in 2015, the fourth-most ever by a Kean squad. Senior Marissa Robinson was an All-American on the field and an academic All-American as well. She is the third All-American in Kean program history. Krista LaMaina smashed the team’s scoring record and the Cougars won both the Connie Harnum Classic and Wilson College Invitational in 2015.
The program enjoyed one of the most accomplished years in its history in 2013. The Cougars won 15 games with a .750 winning percentage; both tied for the second-best marks in the history of the program. Kean also tied a school-record with eight shutouts and for a long stretch of the season the Cougars were the No. 1 statistical defense in the NCAA. Kean hosted all three rounds of the ECAC Tournament.
The Cougars consistently rank among the best in the country in numerous NCAA statistical categories year in and year out.
LaFronz was tabbed as the head coach of the Kean field hockey program in the fall of 2009. She came to Kean with over 20 years of coaching experience at the high school, club and collegiate levels. She most recently served as the head coach of both the field hockey and women's lacrosse programs at Ramapo College from 2003-2008. Prior to her time at Ramapo, she spent 10 years as the varsity head coach at Wayne Valley High School and was named the County Coach of the Year on four occasions. In addition to her coaching duties, LaFronz was the athletic academic coordinator for Division I Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan from 1992-1999.
LaFronz is a member of the College Conversation Subcommitee of espnW; espnW connects young women with the sports they love and follow. It is ESPN’s first dedicated content and digital business initiative designed to serve, inform and inspire female athletes and fans.
As a full-scholarship student-athlete at Northwestern University, LaFronz competed in the NCAA Division I tournament all four seasons as a field hockey player and for two seasons while playing women's lacrosse. Her field hockey team advanced all the way to the Final Four in 1984 and she was a First-Team All-Big Ten defender for the Wildcats.
LaFronz currently owns Rapid Fire Field Hockey, a year-round field hockey business that assists in the development of the youth, including summer camps, instructional clinics and league play. In 2012, Rapid Fire introduced beach hockey events, the first of their kind in the United States.
LaFronz earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Northwestern University in 1985 and is a Level 2 USA Certified Coach.
|Title:||Assistant Coach/Goalie Specialist|
Cliff Odendo returns for his fourth season as an assistant for the Cougars. Odendo played professionally in Italy for 10 years (1997-2007) in Sardinia and Bologna and played over 200 games between the pipes for Kenya’s national team as a former captain.
Odendo won the Italian Indoor Championship with CUS-Bologna in 2010 and was voted the Most Valuable Player in the Kenyan Hockey League three consecutive years from 1997-1999 and was the 1997 MVP of the African Club Championship where his team won the gold medal the next season.
Internationally, Odendo won both silver and bronze medals with Kenya at the Africa Cup, won a bronze medal at the Olympic Qualifier when Kenya hosted the tournament in Nairobi in 2007.
Odendo has coached at numerous levels internationally, is a Level 2 USA Certified Coach, was a member of the staff of the Rapid Fire Camp at Kean University and is also a qualified field hockey umpire.
Former Cougar Stephanie Rios will return to her alma mater for her second season on the sideline as an assistant coach for the field hockey program in 2016.
Rios played in 53 games for Kean in her three-year career (not including the 2012 season missed due to injury) and made 46 starts on the back line. She was part of 38 wins, had two defensive saves and also scored two goals in her career.
Rios earned a BA in psychology from Kean in 2015, was a member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Academic Squad and a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma honor society.
Carly Celkos joins the Cougar staff in her first season in 2017.
Celkos comes to Kean after a four year career at Penn State University where she played in 70 games. She compiled three goals and eight assists from her midfield position and was apart of two Big Ten championships. Off the field she was a member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-Academic Squad in all of her four seasons.
In addition to her time at Penn State, she was a member of the 2013 U-19 National Touring Team, a member of the U-17 National Team and the U-19 National Team, competed in the U-17 Canada Tour, the National Futures Championship (2007-11), the Futures Elite Tournament (2012) and the Junior Olympics (2010-11). Celkos was a four-year varsity letterwinner for Eastern High School, helping the squad to its 14th consecutive State Group Four Title, as well as its 14th Sectional Championship and 14th Conference Championship.
She is currently training with the Elite High Performance squad with aspirations for the US National Team.
Celkos earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services from Penn State in 2017 and is pursuing her Master of Science degree in Occupation Therapy from Kean.
Chelsea Mann begins her first season on the sidelines as the graduate assistant coach for the field hockey program in 2017.
Mann is no stranger to the program after playing her junior and senior seasons with Kean in 2014, 2015. In that time she was named a first-team member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference, twice, while being named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-Region Second-Team in her senior season. Mann is also a part of the Kean record book with 14 single-season assists and four assists against Wilson College tied the most ever recorded by a Cougar in one game.
Off the field, she was named the Kean University Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2015-16, a NFHCA Scholar of Distinction (2015) and was inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in STEM/Molecular Biology with a minor in chemistry in 2017, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology.