Barb Wachowiak

Barb Wachowiak

Barb Wachowiak graduated from Hamburg High School where she was a four-sport athlete in field hockey, volleyball, basketball and softball. She earned first-team WNY ECIC first-team in field hockey in 1980 and was later inducted into the Hamburg High Wall of Fame.

She then attended Ithaca College where she led the Bombers’ field hockey program to national prominence. In 1982, her penalty stroke goal was the clinching score as the Bombers claimed the NCAA Division III Championship. In 1984, she helped Ithaca upset top-ranked Cortland with an overtime goal in the NCAA Div. III playoffs.

She led Ithaca to regional titles in 1982, 1983 and 1984, as well as NCAA Div. III runner-up in 1983 and third place in 1984.  In 1984, she was voted the Most Valuable Offensive Player and was named first-team All-New York State with 11 goals and 6 assists. She earned first-team All-America honors in 1983 and 1984. Despite playing just three seasons, after transferring from Indiana University, she finished her Ithaca career 8th in scoring, 9th in goals and 10th in assists.

She also played right field for the Ithaca softball team, was captain in 1985, offensive MVP that year and earned All-East recognition. The team made the NCAA Regionals in 1983, 1984 and 1985. She was later inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame both as an individual (first-ballot) and as a member of the 1982 NCAA championship team.

Wachowiak competed on 18 Empire State Games Western Region field hockey teams and won two gold, three silver and three bronze medals. She also competed internationally, playing in the 2016 FIH Masters World Cup in Canberra, Australia. She earned a spot on the Over 45 team, despite being eligible for the Over 50 team, and won a bronze medal by defeating South Africa in overtime shootouts. In 2018, competing in the Over 55 World Cup Masters in Barcelona, her team took 5th place

Wachowiak went on to become assistant field hockey coach at Central Michigan before returning home to coach softball, basketball and track at Hamburg High. Now a physical education teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools, she serves as bowling and tennis coach at Hutch-Tech posting 284-28 and 97-18 records, respectively. Her bowling teams have placed first or second each year while tennis has placed first, second or third each season. 

Barb has been one of the best field hockey officials in the country for 26 years and currently serves as a Level III Field Hockey Umpire and a Level II Futures Coach. She officiated the NCAA Division III Final Four from 1987-2014 and 2017. From 2014-16, Barb was on the NCAA Selection Committee to select the officials for the NCAA Division I, II and III national tournaments. She has officiated the New York State High School Tournament and NCAA Division II and III Championship Finals, and is also a USA Field Hockey Evaluator.

Barb developed the GOTTAPLAY! Field Hockey Camp 11 years ago and has seen many of those participants play field hockey at all three NCAA levels.