COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - July 8, 2016 - USA Field Hockey is pleased to announce the 8 coaches selected to coach at the 2016 AAU Junior Olympic Games, which will be held at the Houston Sports Park in Houston, Texas, August 2-6. The Amateur Athletic Union’s Junior Olympic Games are known as the largest multi-sport event for youth in the United States. The AAU Junior Olympic Games bring together more than 12,000 athletes each year to compete in 24 sports. In the sport of field hockey, USA Field Hockey selects eight U-16 teams to participate in the annual event. The event provides U-16 athletes the opportunity to experience an Olympic-like multi-sport competition while enjoying the camaraderie and inspiration from top athletes in other featured sports.
Player selections for the AAU Junior Olympic Games were made by USA Field Hockey from the Citi National Futures Championship (NFC) that was recently held at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. from June 21-29. Congratulations and thank you to the volunteer coaches selected to coach the AAU Junior Olympic Games teams:
Will Byrne is currently the assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Northwestern University and has worked with a number of club and high school programs. He has worked with the Element Athletics club in Greenfield, Mass., the SPark club in Severna Park, Md., and the Denver Club in Denver, Colo.
His high school coaching experience includes stints at Amherst Regional High (Amherst, Mass.), Sidwell Friends School (Washington D.C.) and Colorado Academy (Denver, Colo.), helping the latter reach a pair of state finals.
Byrne graduated from Colorado State University with degrees in English and Music in 2007 before earning his master’s degree in Creative Writing from American University in 2014.
Rebekah Herbert is entering her second year as an assistant coach at Smith College, where she is also studying for her Master’s in Sport and Exercise Studies. She has experience coaching within the USA Field Hockey Futures Program, including being head coach for the NE Region U-19 team at the NFC.
She moved to Smith from Gloucester, England where she coached professionally for 3 years at local schools and clubs. She was the head coach for goalkeepers in Gloucestershire and also coached goalkeepers at the England Hockey Junior Regional Performance Centers.
In addition to her coaching experience, she played National Conference for Gloucester City Hockey Club, and also won the 2nd XI Cup with Clifton in 2013. She spent 5 years playing British Universities Premier Hockey for the University of Gloucestershire, while studying for a BS in Sports Education and an MA in Sports Development.
Elzeth Hetzler is the head coach and founder of East Bay Field Hockey Association in San Ramon, Calif. since 2010. She arrived in California in 2006 from South Africa and has been coaching and playing for the last 25 years.
During her high school playing career her team won state championships in both her junior and senior year. After high school, Hetzler continued to play competing in the premier league in South Africa, as well as club level hockey in Germany and England during her travel years. She continues to play, competing in the Super’s Division at the California Cup.
Along with running her club and coaching U-6 through U-19, Hetzler also coaches for the Futures Program starting off as an assistant coach in 2012 and promoting to head coach at two sites at Stanford for the past two seasons.
Kelley Hubbell begins her seventh season as the head field hockey coach at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Prior to Wittenberg, she served as a graduate assistant coach for Ithaca Field Hockey from 2009-2010 and in fall 2008 she helped the Wooster Scots to an 11-1 conference record, NCAC championship and NCAA tournament appearance as the interim head coach.
Hubbell also served as the assistant field hockey and women’s lacrosse coach at Wooster from2006-2008, where she was an All-American in 2005. Prior to coaching the college level, she worked for her high school program in Vienna, Va. Hubbell enjoys working with the Futures Program in Columbus, Ohio for the past 4 years.
Austin Pile is entering his seventh year as a Division I coach. After spending four years at UC Davis, Pile will coach his third season at University of California, Berkeley this fall. Prior to coaching college field hockey, he spent six years at the high school level in Colorado, winning a state championship in 2007.
Along with his collegiate coaching experience, Pile has an extensive background with the Futures Program. After serving as a head coach for sites in Northern California, Pile took over as regional director for the western region. He oversees the program on the west coast and is responsible for twelve Futures sites and more than 400 athletes.
In addition to his coaching experience, Pile has years of playing the sport under his belt. He was a member of the U.S. Junior Men’s National Team for six years, where he played in several tournaments in eight different countries including the 2005 Junior Men’s. Pan American Championships held in Havana, Cuba.
Chris Pothier has been the owner and director of Cape Ann Field Hockey Club for 5 years. Chris’s playing career includes 3 years in the USA Field Hockey Junior and Senior Men’s program. He is currently playing for the U.S. Men’s National Indoor Team. He is the former head coach for Worcester State University where he has seen a spike in the program’s success since his debut, where his first season finished 3-15 and in 2013 finished with a 12-8 record, a Little East Conference tournament appearance, the program’s first ever ECAC tournament win.
Pothier is also the assistant coach for the USA Field Hockey’s Olympic Development Pipeline, East Coast High Performance Center, where it is his role to aid the development of the Junior Men’s National Teams. He also is an active coach for the U.S. U-18 and U-21 Men’s National Teams. He seeks out learning opportunities, one of which is being a Performance Analyst for the U.S. Junior and Senior Men’s National Teams.
Recently, Pothier has been named to the board of directors for the Northeast Premier Hockey non-profit organization that has taken on the task to promote adult, collegiate and club hockey in the Northeast.
Pothier was named assistant field hockey coach at Division II powerhouse, Merrimack College in April 2016. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine, with a Bachelor’s in in Exercise Science.
Tamika (Mimi) Smith graduated from Old Dominion University where she had an impressive career. While at ODU, Smith helped win three CAA Championships, three Final Four appearances and a National Championship during her senior year. Smith received 2nd Team All-American nominations twice, prior to being named 1st Team All-American. She was a repeat member of the CAA All-Tournament and NCAA All-Tournament teams. Personal highlights of her collegiate career are CAA Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and winning the prestigious Honda Broderick Award given to the standout female athlete in her sport.
Smith went on to play for the U.S. Women’s National Team for 6 years. She was a member of the 1999 Pan American Team and the 2000 World Cup Team. She played field hockey in more than 14 countries, creating endless memories and making wonderful friendships.
After taking some time off from hockey, Smith got involved in coaching club field hockey and officiated in high school. She has been an active club coach for 6 years and started her own club, Reach Field Hockey Club in 2012. She also coached varsity field hockey at St. Paul’s School for Girls for 4 years. She has been involved in the USA Field Hockey Futures Program for several years, running a futures site in Maryland and supporting others by coaching at various sites. She is also a Level II certified USA Field Hockey Coach.
Smith continues to enjoy the game on a personal level as an active and still very competitive member of the adult club field hockey teams, Team Heineken (Md.) and DC Dragons. She is also an active NCAA Division I, II, and III field hockey official.
Don Warner is entering his 21st year as a physical education teacher and varsity field hockey coach at St. Catherine’s School. In addition to teaching and coaching responsibilities with St. Catherine's, he is a coach for the Saints Hockey Club. Prior to these roles, he spent time as an assistant coach at Radford University and as a middle school coach for the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
In addition to his three levels of coaching experience, Warner has a long connection with USA Field Hockey. He has worked with both U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams, the U.S. Women’s National Indoor and has toured with both the both Junior National Teams either an assistant coach and/or manager. Most recently he led the Region 8 Level 1 Futures site as head coach at the NFC in Lancaster, Pa.
Warner began his playing experience as member of the Detroit Field Hockey Club more than 30 years ago. He still enjoys playing the game having recently competed for the U.S. O-50 Men’s National Team in Canberra, Australia. He returns to Houston for the first time in 30 years as an alumni of the USA Olympic Festival East team of 1986.