Empire 8 Pioneers: Hannah Ogden, Houghton University

Field Hockey | 11/22/2022 1:47:53 PM

Hannah Ogden recently completed her eighth season at Houghton University as head coach of the field hockey program in 2022. The Highlanders enjoyed their best season in program history, finishing 14-6 overall, while advancing to the Empire 8 Championship game for the first time in program history, while earning their first two E8 postseason wins.

As a student-athlete, Ogden played four seasons for Houghton, finishing her career with nine goals, seven assists and 12 defensive saves in 67 games. She was an Empire 8 Conference Honorable Mention selection in 2013 and 2014 and was also an E8 Sportswoman of the Year.

A native of Furlong, PA, Ogden received a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Adolescence Education from Houghton in 2014. In the classroom, Ogden was a four-time selection to the Gladiator by SGI / NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad. She was also a member of the Highlander lacrosse team during its inaugural Empire 8 season in 2013.

Hannah Ogden – Empire 8 Pioneer

Year at Current Institution/Total in College Athletics: 8th Year at Houghton

College Attended/Class Year: Houghton University ’15

Playing Career:

Four-year member of the field hockey team at Houghton University (2011-2014)

Favorite Movie: Miracle

Last TV Show You Binge Watched: Ted Lasso

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Perry’s Gold Bar

What Do You Enjoy Doing When Away From College Athletics? Being outside with my kids anywhere in any weather! I love to cook as well.

Dream Vacation Spot: Disneyland

Greatest Mentors: My collegiate coach, Rachael Klohr, is the most competitive and tough person to ever have influence in my life. She completely elevated my mental toughness on and off the field by leading through her own life and teaching us lessons I still carry with me today.

She also showed us as young female athletes, that we could do it all AND excel when we transitioned out of school—be moms, be professionals, be whatever we wanted, all at once! In Rachael’s mind, there’s no ceiling to someone’s potential—having someone believe in you like that sticks with you.

Favorite Athletic Memory from Your Time as a Player in College: As I move farther and farther away from my own athletic career, the Cinderella story wins and gut-wrenching defeats are much more of a blur than I ever thought they would be. The memories that are still so clear to me are training sessions with my teammates, or “mental toughness practices” as coach would call them—pushing our bodies to the brink, relentlessly competing against one another, and walking away from it all full of joy , satisfaction, and mutual love and respect for each other. That feeling is something you can never remanufacture once your playing career is behind you.

Favorite Athletic Memory as a Coach: Just recently, the 2022 Empire 8 Semifinal win at St. John Fisher. A great win, yes, but nothing has ever matched the enthusiasm and support of students and families for our program.

Most Rewarding Aspect of Being a Coach/Administrator: Teaching young women to believe in themselves and in each other on and off the field. Fostering a community of trust and accountability, where teammates support teammates and hold each other to a high standard is a tireless and never-ending effort—the fruits of that labor are the sweetest of all.

What Have You Learned About Yourself as a Leader and In Your Role:
When building a community of trust on my team, being vulnerable with my athletes is essential. I make mistakes, I have hard days, and I have awesome days and that’s all okay.

I want our team to be a place where athletes belong and feel safe—part of fostering that is making sure they know me beyond what I yell out to them on the sidelines. I’m a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter—all those parts of me make up who I am as a coach and it’s positive to share that with those I am entrusted to lead.

Recent Community Service Projects Your Teams or Departments Have Worked On: Last year our team worked a drive through Food Drive loading cars with bulk groceries to be delivered to families in the community.

How Does The Empire 8 Stand Out Among Other Conferences? I love how competitive the Empire 8 is. Almost every year the last conference matchups of the season determine playoff standings. It keeps things interesting, fun, and motivating the whole way through.

How Did Title IX Played a Role For You as a Student-Athlete? The general increase over the past 50 years of female participation in athletics is huge. To think of a time when young women missed out on the opportunity to learn life lessons through sport (at any level) is so disheartening. So much of who I am today is because I had the opportunity to compete, train, grow, and serve alongside athletic teams at various levels.

What Do You Think Is the Greatest Impact of Title IX/How Has it Changed Your Life? I have had the opportunity to mentor and be mentored by incredible women because of the opportunity to participate in sport as a coach and an athlete. Women still swim against a strong current of inequalities in this world, and it has transformed my life to be uplifted by women who refuse to let me stop swimming. Sport is the place where I found my village and I am so blessed now to share that village with my own daughter—what an amazing privilege to raise her amongst such strong and intelligent female athletes who she can admire and aspire towards.

How Has Title IX Changed the Collegiate Sports World?
It is amazing to see the accountability that is getting built in to facility resource use, budgets, salaries, and scholarships for female athletes, coaches, officials, and administrators.

What Can Be Done to Continue the Growth of Women’s Sports? Continue to tell the stories of women who are grinding day in and day out to fight for equality in sport and to expose the cracks in the system. I am so inspired by Allyson Felix’s story of leaving her Nike sponsorship and inventing her own brand, Sayshe, with ethics and principals that would support and uplift ALL women. It blows my mind that in 2019 there wasn’t another brand that could pick her up under the conditions she needed as a mother and athlete, so much so that she needed to create something of her own. What an incredible illustration of the work that needs to be done—it’s not always a matter of “fixing” or “adjusting” something that already exists. Sometimes something completely new is crucial to right the inequities of the past.

Advice for Aspiring Student-Athletes (Youth/High School and Incoming Collegians): Love your work. These are the sweetest years of your life—if you’re not enjoying it, you’re wasting it.

Advice for Graduating Student-Athletes:
Keep up with your teammates and coaches and stay current and encourage the program you came from. This is the best way to keep your happy memories if your time as an athlete fresh. These are years you are never going to want to forget!

The Empire 8 Pioneers series celebrates 50 years of Title IX and highlights the growth of women’s sports, while featuring a standout women’s coach of administrator from each of the league’s 10 institutions.


The members of the Empire 8 Conference are committed first and foremost to the pursuit of academic excellence and the league is regarded as an outstanding NCAA Division III conference. The membership has distinguished itself among its peer group for its quality institutions, spirited and sportsmanlike competition, outstanding services and highly ethical policies and practices. Its commitment to serve the educational needs of its student-athletes is the hallmark of the E8. For more on the Empire 8 visit www.empire8.com.

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