Upper Dublin grad feat. in Temple University ‘Hall of Fame Spotlight’

Jane Catanzaro-Delaney, an Ambler native and Upper Dublin graduate, was recently featured in a Temple University Hall of Fame Spotlight.

The three-sport standout, four-time All-American “is arguably the best field hockey player in Temple history” and was the all-time scoring leader in NCAA history at the time of her graduation. She received three first team honors and was twice named All-American in women’s lacrosse, the Spotlight said.

Catanzaro-Delaney was inducted into Temple’s Hall of Fame in 2004.

From the Spotlight:

Jane, and her husband, Pat, have been married 32 years and have three children, Nicholas (29), Patrick (28) and Kaitlyn (27). 

How did you decide on coming to Temple to play Field Hockey?
“I received a lot of letters (from schools), but as I was the baby of 12 (kids), I just wanted to stay close to home as I never really left the area.  I also struggled with my academics in high school.   (FH coach) Gwen (Cheeseman-Alexander) really helped me during this time.  She talked to Temple’s admissions department and helped me get into school.   After I took the SATs and I was deemed a Prop 48 student, but Temple hung with me…The University took a chance on me, and it was also great that it was so close to home.   I really loved being there and that my family could watch me play.  So, I chose Temple.

I had made visits to East Carolina and La Salle for basketball.  Basketball was my love.  The only reason I chose field hockey as my sport to focus on in college was that I had more chances to get on the field as there was 11 players in the starting lineup instead of five. 

 Talk about your experience sitting out your first year?
“I had to sit out my first year due to Prop 48, but I did not lose a year of eligibility.  Proposition 48 helped a lot of people.  If you took advantage of (the off year) and worked hard.   It did well for me.  I had a great career at Temple.  I loved it there.” 

When did you know you realize you were on a path to become one of the best in the sport’s history?
“I think it was always in me.  I was always competitive, very driven.  When I arrived at Temple the seniors, Kim Lambdin, Mandy Moore in particular, took me under their wing.  Then (asst. coach) Sue Stahl, who is my all-time favorite coaches, would hype it up like, “you are going to let this hot shot freshman score on you, Lambdin?”   That is what we did in practice.  We were competitors.

I think they really helped me, but I did not start my freshman year because Gwen was really high on starting upperclassmen.  The upperclassmen told Gwen, ‘You need to start her’, but she wouldn’t though.  She would always put me in at the same time, around the 10-minute mark.

Then when Gwen left, Michele Madison took over as coach. Michele made me a better player.  She made me the flyer (position). I took my life in my hands coming out of the cage when people were shooting on me, but her idea was I could get the ball and go then (on a fastbreak). 

Under Michele I took most of the (penalty) corners.  She brought a lot of national skills to Temple and the team.” 

Looking back, what stands out the most about your Field Hockey career?
“I was surrounded by a lot of good players and that really helped my game.  I could not have accomplished what I was able to do without them.  We are a team and there are 11 of us on the field.  We were hard-nosed players.  That was just our mentality, even when we played North Carolina and they beat us.  It was just our mentality.  So, it was my teammates and coaching staff that made me a better player.  That is what stands out the most to this day.”

Do your children know about your All-American career?
“My husband, Pat, and I were engaged all through my days at Temple.  He was at all my games with my family.  He was a big part of my career.   Pat is the one who tells the kids all the time about my career saying, ‘you don’t know how good your mom was.’  As for me, I do not really talk about it.” 

What is your favorite memory from your playing days at Temple?
“Nothing truly stands out in particular.  I just liked being around the team.  We enjoyed being around each other and we were always doing things together.  The things I was able to accomplish is because of my teammates.” 

On winning the Honda Award as the Nation’s Best Field Hockey Player?
“The awards banquet was out in California.  It was really exciting and fun to attend and meet everybody.  Dawn Staley was there for basketball. Lisa Fernandez was there for softball.  Brandi Chastain, who was the top player for women’s soccer, was my roommate.   Years later, when she scored that goal in the World Cup I was like, that’s my roommate!!

We knew we had won for our specific sports when we went out to the dinner.  The surprise was who won the overall award for women’s sports.  That was Dawn Staley.”

How challenging was it to go from Field Hockey to Lacrosse during your career?
“It was not very hard at all.  I was used to playing three sports in high school and some of the girls I played with in field hockey also played lacrosse.  The only difference was that the skill level was much higher at Temple than in high school and I just learned how to play the sport in 11th grade. 

Tina Sloan Green gave me a shot and I think she liked what I showed her, so she put me on the varsity team, I earned All-America in the sport as well. It was a really fun time for me.  Lacrosse was so much like basketball and basketball is my love.  So it was easy to transition to that.”

What was it like playing for legendary coach Tina Sloan Green?
“She was amazing.  She always gave me a chance.  She is a very soft-spoken, sweet person until she wants to get her point across.  Then we knew she was business.  She won championships so she knew what it was like to win.  It was just an honor to play for her.  I still keep in touch with her to this day.  We have a good rapport together.  She has so much knowledge and insight and knows so many people.  It was so nice to play for her and Sue Stahl.  Those two were amazing.”

How special was it to earn First Team All-America Honors for two sports in the same calendar year (1990)?
“It was really special.  Earning All-America four years in field hockey and then earning it two times in lacrosse was really something special.  I am proud of that but also, I am lucky to have had the teammates I have had around me to make me a better player.  Alot of my accolades go to my teammates and my coaches because they made me the player that I was.”

Talk about your career after Temple
“I earned a Parks and Recreation Management degree from Temple.  I interned at Upper Dublin with Sue Lohoefer and then went right to East Norriton Township where I worked for 26 ½ years.  I retired from there and now I have been at Lower Providence for five years. 

When I was at East Norriton we ran the boys’ basketball leagues.  I loved that. It was for boys five to 16 years old.  We refereed all the games and ran all the leagues.  We ran other leagues, like soccer, as well as all the programs and special events.  That is what I do now at Lower Providence.   Special events such as Fourth of July, Easter Egg Hunt, Tree Lighting.  We also run other programs as well and take care of the parks. 

I love interacting with the people and the one thing I really love about my job is that I do not do the same thing every day.” 

Closing comment
“Thank God Temple gave me a chance.  It really worked out for me.   People would say to me, why didn’t you play basketball and I say, field hockey wasn’t so bad.”