RICHMOND, Va. – It's been a pretty exciting few days for the Karl family. Last night, Starr Karl, a long-time high field hockey coach in Northern Virginia, registered her 300th career victory with Westfield High School.

Today, Shannon Karl, Starr's daughter, was introduced as the Head Coach of the VCU Field Hockey program by Director of Athletics Norwood Teague. Karl has spent the past five seasons as an assistant with the Black & Gold.

"We are tremendously excited to name Shannon as the new head coach of VCU Field Hockey," Teague said. "She is one of the most talented young coaches I have ever been associated with, and we are extremely lucky to have her lead our program into the future."

As an assistant with the Rams over the past five seasons, Karl has been a vital part of some of the best recruiting classes in VCU history. Those recruits was a significant part of the 2010 season, which will go down as one of the top years in program history with 13 wins and a berth in the CAA Tournament.

"To say that I am excited for the future of Virginia Commonwealth University Field Hockey would be an understatement," Karl said. "I'd like to thank Director of Athletics, Norwood Teague, and his administration for their confidence in me as we collectively set the bar higher for VCU Field Hockey."

Karl will be at the helm of a roster that returns 19 of 20 players from this past fall, the highest percentage among any team in the Colonial Athletic Association, a conference that boasts the top-ranked team in the country in Old Dominion. The Rams fell just a game short of reaching their second straight CAA Tournament this fall.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead a very talented and special group of student-athletes who return for the 2012 season and look forward to helping build a culture that values commitment, hard work and action," Karl stated. "I have an immense amount of pride in this university, this athletic department and the direction in which we plan to take this field hockey program.

A native of Centreville, Va., Karl possesses a depth of field hockey expertise to draw as she becomes the seventh  Head Coach in the program's 31-year history.

She enjoyed an outstanding career as a midfielder at William & Mary, leading the Tribe to a 47-33 record from 2002-05. As a freshman in 2002, Karl was a part of the second team in program history to play in the NCAA Tournament. In 2004, she helped steer the Green and Gold to a 13-7 mark, including a perfect 7-0 ledger in CAA play.

Karl ranks fourth in Tribe history in assists with 18, third in games played with 80 and is second in career starts. In addition, she was selected to the CAA All-Tournament squad in 2004.

In addition to her college exploits, Karl was selected for United States Field Hockey Association's (USFHA) A & B Camps in 2002-04. Those camps serve as a pipeline to the national team, and her presence at the sessions earned her a spot as an alternate for the USA Field Hockey U19 and U21 squads in 2004. Karl was also selected to the South squad for the NFHCA North-South All-Star Game in 2005.

Karl received her bachelor's degree in kinesiology from William & Mary in 2006 and earned The President's Award for Leadership the same year. She added her master's in sports administration from Louisville in May of 2007.