So the last thing you would probably expect from me is to read a story about a wedding engagement that does not involve a family member or close friend. It’s a bit out of my league.  However this is one I found interesting and it does have a local sports angle to it.

Less than a week after he was traded by the New York Jets to the Oakland Raiders quarterback Christian Hackenberg completed a touchdown pass over the holiday weekend when he proposed to his longtime girlfriend Tatum Coffey, who some will remember from her days as an accomplished multiple sport athlete at Toms River High School North.

The “moment” took place on the 2nd Avenue beach in Seaside Park which is where Coffey spent a lot of time growing up as her family has a summer house there.

By the way, she said yes.

Tatum admitted to being surprised by the proposal, especially since her fiancée was just traded and was reporting to Oakland for the first time yesterday.  The two met at Penn State where Hackenberg spent three years before being drafted by the Jets and she excelled as a member of the Nittany Lions women’s lacrosse team.

Coffey capped an outstanding career as a senior earning All-Big Ten and 3rd team All-American honors in helping the Nittany Lions win the Big Ten Tournament and reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA’s.   Her high school career as a North Mariner was legendary as she earned 12 varsity letters playing lacrosse, soccer, basketball and ice hockey…the latter being on the boy’s team where she served as an assistant captain.  Some of her lacrosse records will likely stand for decades.

Coffey was pursuing a broadcasting career at Penn State and did some work for the Big Ten Network and ESPN but for the past couple of years has been in pharmaceutical sales while also serving as a private lacrosse trainer in North Jersey.  She also had a brief stint playing professionally for the Long Island Sound in the United Women’s Lacrosse League.

As for the future Tatum told me she’ll stay in New Jersey and make monthly trips to Oakland and is looking at getting married in late June or early July of next year.

I think I’ll let her know that I am qualified to perform the wedding and if it’s on the beach in Seaside Park then it will be home turf (or sand) for both of us.


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