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Duke Assistant Field Hockey Coach Dies

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DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University's field hockey assistant coach died Wednesday after losing a battle with cancer, the school's athletic department said in a news release issued Thursday.

Maria Whitehead

, 25, joined the Duke field hockey coaching staff in February after spending three years as the head coach at St. Louis University, following a four-year playing career on the Wake Forest field hockey team.

"It is a really devastating loss for everyone," said Duke head coach Beth Bozman. "Some people have a profound impact on everyone they meet, and Maria was that kind of person. Everyone in the field hockey community suffered a great loss."

At Wake Forest, Whitehead was a two-time All-ACC selection in helping the Demon Deacons to three Final Fours and the 2002 National Championship. She also had vast experience with international field hockey, playing and coaching as part of several U.S. Field Hockey teams.

Outside of field hockey, Whitehead was involved with the Athletes Care Team from 1999-2003, helping disabled toddlers, and was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee while at Wake Forest.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Duke Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke: P.O. Box 3624, Durham, N.C., 27710, in care of Dr. Henry Friedman.

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