Cheshire field hockey coach Wildermann steps down to spend more time with family

When Cheshire field hockey coach Eileen Wildermann became the Cheshire field hockey coach 13 years ago, she envisioned being in the position for a very long time.

“When I took the job, I loved it and I thought I would coach forever,” Wildermann said. “But at the time I didn’t have my kids and I didn’t think about how that could affect me in the future.”

On Thursday, citing the need to spend more time with her family and especially her two kids, 41/2-year-old Henry and 2-year-old Jane, Wildermann announced she has resigned as Cheshire field hockey coach.

“To be honest, it was a tough decision,” Wildermann said. “But it’s been hard during field hockey season with night games when I don’t get to see my kids. I also live in Madison and that makes it tough too. With Henry starting kindergarten next year, I needed to do this and spend time with him as he starts that part of his life.”

Wildermann came to Cheshire with a solid field hockey background after serving as Quinnipiac assistant field hockey coach and having played for the Bobcats. Her connection with her athletes and communication skills were among her strong assets as coach. But her competitiveness took the Rams to an elite level.

“I’m so competitive,” Wildermann said. “I always have been. To be fair, I stressed myself out too hard sometimes when I coached because I’m so competitive.

That competitive edge helped lead Wildermann to a 200-43-9 career coaching record. It includes a CIAC Class L title in 2011 with a 1-0 win over Norwalk in the championship game. The Rams reached the Class L title game four other times with runner-up finishes in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018. The Rams earned three SCC tournament titles and six regular-season titles.

“Eileen is not only an outstanding coach but a great role model for our young female athletes,” Cheshire athletic director Steve Trifone said. “Her presence will be missed on the playing fields.

“She had discussed with me many times about resigning due to missing time with her two children. She just could not give up coaching, but she now feels it is time. We are currently accepting applications for the position.”

Wildermann told her players about her decision during a Zoom meeting on Wednesday.

“That virtual meeting was tough to get through,” Wildermann said. “I never really focused on wins or losses. It was the relationships with the players that have meant the most to me. I love my relationships with the girls. It makes you love your school and it grounds you.”

Guilford field hockey coach Kitty Palmer said Wildermann will be missed.

“Cheshire has always had a very strong field hockey tradition,” Guilford field hockey coach Kitty Palmer said. “Eileen has really carried the torch with her knowledge of the sport, and her love of the game and her kids. I am sure her girls were very sad today. When we played Cheshire, we knew we always had to be at our best in order to compete with such a strong program. Her kids were always well-prepared, and always respected the game and their opponents. Eileen tolerated nothing less.”

Palmer said it was always a challenge to face Cheshire, especially in the SCC tournament.

Wildermann will continue to teach her Culinary Arts class at Cheshire High. She isn’t closing the door on a possible return to coaching after her kids have grown.

Wildermann said she didn’t think any of her assistant coaches were interested in applying for the head coaching position, but they would stay on as assistants. Anyone interested in applying for the coaching position can contact the athletic office at 203-250-2552.