At Brown University, her teams dominated as Theresa Hirschauer played for six Ivy Championship squads in soccer and softball. She has been pursuing titles ever since as a high school coach and athletic director.
Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Brown University originally wasn't on Theresa Hirschauer's mind as a possible college. Coming from an athletic family and playing soccer, softball, and basketball in high school, Hirschauer was at a soccer tournament in Virginia when a Brown recruiter noticed her. Soon she was being actively recruited by head coach Phil Pincince.
"He was emphasizing the athletics and then I realized hey, Brown's in the Ivy League," remembers Hirschauer. "The ability to play soccer and softball was a major factor" in choosing Brown, she recalls. A trip to Brown spring of her senior year decided it. "I fell in love with Brown," says Hirschauer, spurning full scholarships from Boston College and the University of Central Florida.
Brown made a wise choice. From 1986-89 Hirschauer led the soccer team to four straight Ivy titles and two NCAA appearances. In the process she was named Ivy Rookie of the Year in 1985 and Ivy Player of the Year in 1988, and set Ivy records for goals scored in a game, season, and career, as well as points scored in a career. These records still stand today.
Hirschauer is the greatest women's soccer player in Brown's history and, perhaps, the greatest player in Ivy history. She also played softball for Pincince, earning first team All-Ivy honors twice. Brown University named her to the Ivy League women's Silver Anniversary Team in soccer in 1999, and to its Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.
Academically, Hirschauer took advantage of the unique Brown curriculum, which allows students great flexibility in meeting degree requirements. "I always wanted to be a math teacher," she recalls, and "the class choices made it so much easier" to pursue athletics and academics. Plus, she was able to take many psychology courses which "help me deal with student athletes" in her current position as soccer coach, math teacher, athletic director, and interim middle school head at Cincinnati Country Day School (CCDS), a small, academically excellent private school in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Brown assisted in Hirschauer's being hired at Country Day when she graduated with a degree in mathematics in 1989. The school named her 'Athlete of the Year' and she made the cover of the Brown Alumni Magazine. That was noticed by "some Brown alums that worked at CCDS," remembers Hirschauer. They encouraged her to interview, and she got the position.
Perhaps inadvertently, Brown played a role in her wanting to coach. "I never had a female coach, and that made me want to become one," says Hirschauer. "My experience at Brown pushed me to want to coach and come back to Cincinnati and teach. Because of my love for athletics, I ended up as the Athletic Director."
Hirschauer currently has the four positions at CCDS, and runs soccer camps around the United States during the summer. She is in a unique position to compare present-day athletics to her time as an athlete. What is the biggest change? "Specialized sports," says Hirschauer. "AAU and Select sports are making the athletes choose" a single sport. Some get burned out. "It is the biggest challenge for us at the high school level."
She attributes her ability to successfully take on all these roles to her years at Brown. "I'm a very organized person to this day and the main reason is teaching myself the ability to juggle -- academics, athletics and a job (she worked in the dining halls all four years) at Brown," she asserts. "The reason I'm able to be Athletic Director, soccer coach, algebra teacher and this year the Middle School Head is because of my experiences at Brown."
"Brown University was the best decision of my life. It opened all the doors to my professional career."
ed. note - Brown's Phil Pincince is one of the League's most successful two-sport coaches, with more than 250 wins in 29 seasons in women's soccer alone. Pincince has won 12 Ivy championships in soccer, including nine in a row from 1982 to 1990, and three in softball. His teams won both Ivy titles in 1985-86 and 1989-90, making him one of the few Ivy coaches ever to win championships in two sports in one year.
— Stephen Eschenbach