Karen Shelton

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Karen Shelton
Personal information
Born November 14, 1957 (1957-11-14) (age 61)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

Karen Christina Shelton (born November 14, 1957 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a former field hockey player from the United States, who was a member of the national team that won the bronze medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. She attended West Chester State and was a member of three field hockey NCAA championship winning teams. She also represented her country on the US Olympic team in 1980. She has been the head coach for the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill since 1981 and since then has led the Tar Heels to six NCAA Championships and eight NCAA runner-up finals.


  • U.S. National Team member (1978–84)
  • Member of the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Woman's Olympic Field Hockey team
  • U.S. Olympic bronze medalist in field hockey (1984)
  • Head coach at UNC Chapel Hill (1981- )
  • Record of 482-133-9 in 29 seasons*
  • Five-time National Coach of the Year (1994,’95,’96,’07,'09)
  • Eight-time ACC Coach of the Year (1986, 1987,1988, 1989, 1994, 2000, 2004, 2007). Shelton has won the honor more times than any coach in league history.
  • Coach of NCAA Championship teams in 1989, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2007 and 2009
  • UNC Field Hockey ACC Championships with Shelton coaching: 17*
  • NCAA appearances with Shelton coaching: 25
  • NCAA Final Four appearances with Shelton coaching: 14
  • Ranks third in Division 1 history in both wins (482) and winning percentage (.782)
  • Member of the NFHCA Hall of Fame (for coaching accomplishments – inducted in 2008)and the U.S. Field Hockey Association Hall of Fame (for player accomplishments – inducted in 1989)
  • Inducted to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in Jan. 2010 (first field hockey player or coach inducted)

as of the end of the 2010 regular season*