UNC students experimented with field hockey early in the twentieth century. A 1902 Tar Heel article describes a group of male students playing using an "ordinary cricket ball." The sport apparently did not catch on, as it was not mentioned again until the 1930s, when women students began playing it regularly as a club sport. Field hockey became a varsity sport in 1971, along with seven other women's sports as the university joined the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. The field hockey team has won multiple ACC and NCAA championships and is often recognized as one of the top programs in the country. In 2018 the university opened the new Karen Shelton Stadium for field hockey, named for coach Karen Shelton.
Date Established: 1900
Date Range: 1900 – Present