Executive Director Weekly Report - Week of January 15

Jan. 15, 2013, 4:20 p.m. (ET)
USA Field Hockey Weekly Report- January 15, 2013

Happy New Year!

From everyone at USA Field Hockey, we hope you and your family enjoyed a happy and safe holiday season. 

We scored!  Well, we selected a Women’s National Team coach and we are thrilled with how the process turned out. Nothing is ever simple and this process in particular was long and drawn out, but rendered great results. Craig Parnham, formerly an assistant coach with Britain’s Olympic Women’s Team (and, Bronze medal winner at the London Olympic Games) has been selected. He will start later this month and will begin preparations with our women at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista  for the upcoming FIH World League 2 to be staged in Rio. 
But, how did we get to this point? The process started mid-October of last year as we began the solicitation process. Job descriptions were modified as we decided to go into a slightly different direction; a search committee was formed; and in-depth discussions with the search committee took place identifying the type of person we were searching for to serve in the coaching role. We also discussed the role of a Performance Director and how the dynamic would change by having that position serve as an adjunct to our coaches. We felt strongly that the coaches were to be the main drivers in high performance, not a performance director. 

Over 30 applications were received from throughout the world from top level coaches. The search committee narrowed the field to five top level candidates. The top candidates were interviewed in Lancaster, PA and we were clear that Craig was the guy for us and he was offered the position. Craig will soon arrive and we welcome him and his wife Emma to the U.S. and wish Craig all the best for leading USA to ever greater international success. 

Last week we proudly announced our first addition of 2013, a new sport development program called You Go Girl. You Go Girl is a grassroots initiative that will introduce field hockey to young women and girls, ages 10-18, in urban or at-risk communities with the help of NCAA student-athletes. You Go Girl will connect NCAA field hockey teams with young women and girls near their campus community to teach the sport in afterschool mentorship sessions. All field hockey equipment has been provided by CranBarry Field Hockey. You Go Girl will not only demonstrate the basics of field hockey, but also emphasize the values of character development, healthy lifestyles and higher education. USA Field Hockey is encouraging all NCAA Division I, II, and III field hockey teams to get involved. It’s an excellent way for teams to give back to their campus community and to grow the game we love. The program application is available on usafieldhockey.com.

The Australian Youth Olympic Festival brings together 1,700 of the world’s best young athletes from 30 nations over  five days of competition and both our Junior Men’s and Women’s Teams are in Sydney for this grand event from January 16-20. 

Congrats to our Women's Senior Indoor National Team on winning the RohrMax Cup in Perchtoldsdorf, Austria. This was their first-ever win at an international tournament and we are excited to see what the future holds for this team as they prepare for the Pan Am Indoor Cup. 

Before the holiday, we told you all about a heartbreaking story about the passing of Steve Withington, the father of Gateway Field Hockey goalkeeper, Brooke Withington. I wanted to take this time to thank each and every one of you that responded so generously over the holiday season. We were told by Kelly Yates, Gateway Field Hockey founder, that assistance was received from players, parents, coaches, and officials from California, Pennsylvania, Texas, Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey, Mass, Maine, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, Conn, Maryland, and Michigan. The Withington Family and Gateway Field Hockey send their many thanks.

We welcome five new members to the Board of Directors that will serve through 2016. The new board includes founder of Mystx Field Hockey Club, Tina Reinprecht; 2008 Olympian Carrie Lingo; former U.S. Men’s National Team captain Shawn Hindy; former Senior Vice President, General Counsel of Pepsi-Cola North America, Kathryn Carson; and Assistant Director of Championships at the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Mary Berdo.

Lastly, a heads up that later this month the 2013 USA Field Hockey Member Survey will be issued. Please look for this in your e-mail and we thank you in advance for your feedback and suggestions. Let’s build our sport together!

Late Show with David Letterman: “Baseball's Hall of Fame had its selections for players who are voted in. This year, nobody gets in. Lots of players were eligible, but nobody got in. However, Pete Rose is already taking bets for next year.”

Have a great week.

Steve Locke 
Executive Director 
USA Field Hockey