Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/27/09
Ursinus College graduate Vonnie Gros, who excelled as a field hockey and lacrosse coach at West Chester and Ursinus, was one of three people inducted into the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame Tuesday at Westover Country Club in West Norriton.
The other two inductees were former Pottstown High basketball coach Kenny Davis and Lansdale Catholic and Villanova graduate Larry Glueck, a former NFL player with the Chicago Bears who coached at Fordham.
After Gros arrived at Ursinus in the mid-50s, she embarked on one of the school’s most celebrated athletic careers. In 1957, she was named the first All-American in both field hockey and lacrosse. She then played on the United States National Field Hockey Team for 13 years after graduating from Ursinus.
Gros made an even greater name for herself as a coach. At West Chester University she coached the field hockey team to a 118-6-13 record. She also coached the lacrosse team, helping develop, among others, standouts such as Tina Sloan Green (who won three national championships as a coach at Temple) and Cindy Timchal (now coaching at Navy after winning eight national titles at Maryland). Gros also coached field hockey at Princeton University.
Gros was named to the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2002.
Gros was selected to coach the U.S. Olympic field hockey team in 1980. It was the athletic highlight of her life, only to be ruined when the United States decided to boycott the Olympic Games in Moscow. Fortunately, Gros would receive a second chance when she was asked to return to coach the 1984 Olympic team. Despite being heavy underdogs, she led the U.S. to a bronze medal in 1984, a breakthrough accomplishment for the country in that sport.
Gros also has been inducted into the Ursinus and West Chester Hall of Fames as well as the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame.