Phil Sykes enters his ninth season as head coach of the University at Albany field hockey program.
In his tenure, Sykes has guided the Great Danes to the programs first and second America East Conference Championship titles (2008 and 2010) and two NCAA Tournament berths. With his efforts, Sykes has been awarded America East Conference Coah of the Year twice (2008 and 2009).
The Great Danes recorded a 13-7 overall record and 3-2 in conference play. UAlbany fell to the #10 ranked UNH Wildcats, 1-0, in the semifinals of the America East Conference Tournament. Sykes watched Kristi Troch defend her conference goalkeeper of the year award for the second consecutive year in a row.
In 2010, UAlbany posted a 16-6 record, going 4-1 in conference play. A mentor to the league's goalkeeper of the year, Kristi Troch and rookie of the year, Corrine McConville, Sykes also saw Christina Patrick and Taylor Luke, alongside Troch, earn all-conference first team accolades, while Daphne Voormolen joined McConville on the all-rookie team. Since 2004, 37 first and second team all-conference awards have gone to UAlbany players along with 22 all-rookie awards.
Sykes has coached a total of nine player of the year awardees for the America East including; goalie, midfielder, rookie, defender and offensive players of the year.
In addition to success on the field, Sykes saw several of his student-athletes achieve recognition off the field. The Great Danes have earned 21 spots on the NFHCA National Academic Squad and 16 America East Conference All-Academic honors through the 2011 season. Tri-captain Shelley Gebhardt also was honored with the Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete Award in 2005, which recognizes academic excellence and outstanding athletic achievement. In 2010, Troch was named America East Conference Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete.
Prior to his arrival at UAlbany, Sykes stepped into a role as interim head coach at Cornell in 2003. Sykes also served as the first assistant at Towson University, as the Tigers showed dramatic improvement during Sykes' tenure, winning 10 games during the 2002 season.
Sykes has a vast amount of playing experience. At age 16, Sykes represented his country in a United States vs. Canada Challenge in Calgary, Alberta. That served as the beginning of Sykes' experience on the U.S. Junior and Senior National Teams, which included playing in the 1989 Junior World Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia. Sykes competed at the 1995 Pan American Games in Argentina, where the U.S. squad won a bronze medal. The highlight of Sykes' playing career came in the 1996 Olympics, when he played on the U.S. Olympic team.
A native of Livermore, California, Sykes retired from international competition to finish his college degree. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Hayward in 1999.
Sykes, who resides in Clifton Park with his wife Jen, also plays competitive tennis. He played number one singles and doubles at Chabot Junior College, earning a scholarship to the University of Texas-Pan American, and began teaching tennis in California, later earning his USPTA certification.