Cindy Hook: Leaving her legacy


Hook demonstrates skills for the field hockey team. “Their determination, willingness to work hard, and positive “team first” attitude earns us “WINS” every day-in the classrooms and on the field. That is the real “Winning Tradition” of Annandale HS,” Hook said.

After 43 years full of victory, defeat and field hockey fun, AHS field hockey coach Cindy Hook is retiring.
As one of only three field hockey coaches AHS has had since the program started in 1954, Hook has surely left her mark.
“‘I’ve decided to retire from coaching field hockey because it just feels like it’s my time,” Hook said.
Hook’s time at AHS didn’t start when she became field hockey coach in 1979. She grew up in Annandale, went to Saint Michael’s Catholic School right across Ravensworth Road, and before attending the University of Virginia, went to AHS.
Her time at AHS didn’t only teach her math, science, history and English, but her love for sports as well. During her early high school years, Hook was a student athlete, and very involved in the school community.
Her sophomore year, she was introduced to field hockey, the sport she would grow to love and share with younger generations.
“I played JV softball as a freshman and then my best friend coerced me into playing field hockey with her as a sophomore,” Hook said. “I wasn’t very good to start with but we got better as the season went on.”
Throughout her final years of high school, Hook continued to stay very involved in athletics, playing varsity softball and managing the basketball and gymnastics teams.
After graduating in 1973 as salutatorian of her class, Hook went to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
There, she made history and played field hockey on the very first intercollegiate team for women at UVA, and was one of the first to earn a varsity letter. During her time at UVA, she also played lacrosse for the first time.
“We started lacrosse my second year and the first lax game played in, I was a starter,” Hook said.
“Only two of our girls had ever played but we did ok and learned fast.”
After four years, Hook graduated with a degree in accounting, and was planning to continue her education at UVA’s grad school. However, due to family reasons, Hook put off her grad school plans, and returned to Annandale.
After some time, she decided to look for a job, and found one with FCPS.
“Since I knew I was not staying in this area, I signed up as an FCPS substitute and worked all over the county,” Hook said.
While substitute teaching and supporting her family, Hook continued to play field hockey for a local club and was a referee for high school field hockey games. Soon after, her coaching career started.
“After two years, my high school field hockey coach Rachel Peter, who was now the athletic director, called and asked me to coach field hockey for Annandale,” Hook said.
“I was a little apprehensive but agreed to take the job and work as a math aide helping individual students with math difficulties.”
Hook fell in love with coaching, but also with teaching. At the urging of the principal at the time, James Finch, took the classes she needed to be certified to teach and was hired as a full time math teacher.
“I ended up teaching math for 26 years, and retired from it in 2007. None of this was in my plans at all but I would never change any part of it,” Hook said.
In addition to teaching and coaching field hockey, Hook also coached 8 seasons of winter track, two seasons of spring track, 16 years of girls soccer and has been the lacrosse coach since 1998.
“I have been so blessed to have coached countless players and teams during the past 43 years at Annandale who have earned many District, some Regional, and one State Championship,” Hook said.
But for Hook, the championship wins haven’t been the best part of her coaching career- that prize goes to the amazing players, families and assistant coaches she’s met throughout the last 43 years.
“The wonderful players and families that I’ve had the privilege to work with and help and the many assistant coaches, almost all of whom are former players, who came to “give back” to our AHS teams after college, are my favorite part of this job,” Hook said. Together, we have been able to provide a fun, challenging, competitive program where countless “life lessons” have been learned—and many wins have been earned-on and off the field.”
For Hook, being the field hockey coach at AHS has proved to be a meaningful and rewarding career.
“I know that I have truly been blessed by God,” Hook said.
She has been able to do what she is passionate about, and teach in the classroom and on the field.
“Coach and teacher- the titles are interchangeable, however, I see coaching as the epitome of teaching,” Hook said.
Hook also loves that no two players, no two games and no two practices are the same. As a coach, she has supported so many different students through new learning experiences, coaches bittersweet last practices and games, and been there for some of the most exciting times of her player’s lives.
“A coach gets to use sport to teach on many levels and work with student-athletes and their families, for multiple seasons and years, through all kinds of learning situations,” Hook said.
“It is fun and exciting to see what each day and each player brings.”
Though her impressive career of coaching field hockey is coming to an end, Hook will continue to coach lacrosse at AHS for as long as she is able.
“Now is my time to retire, but I am very proud and excited for Corin Uviedo, an AHS field hockey alumni, who has been chosen to be the new field hockey coach at AHS,” Hook said. “She is highly gifted and more than capable to lead our field hockey program.”
Hook has left her mark on AHS, on and off the field. “Every day coaching is a gift from God and I am thankful for His countless blessings-great or small,” Hook said. “I have been so blessed to have coached at AHS for the past 43 years.”


For more on Cindy Hook’s career, watch “Hooked on Annandale,” a documentary by AHS IB Film Students: