COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Field Hockey is pleased to announce the head coaches of the U.S. Rise and U-21 Women’s National Team programs for 2021-22. Ralph Boersma has been named the Rise USWNT Head Coach and Tracey Paul will serve as the U-21 USWNT Head Coach, both on a volunteer basis.
“We are delighted to be able to appoint both Ralph and Tracey to these important roles in our Olympic Development Pathway,” said Phil Edwards, USA Field Hockey’s Senior Manager of Coaching and Performance. “They have both done excellent jobs as assistant coaches within the program over the last two years and we look forward to continuing to work with them as they deliver world class programming to both the women’s Rise and U-21 teams.”
After previously serving as the assistant coach in 2018 and 2019, Boersma will now be at the helm of the Rise USWNT as the head coach. The Netherlands native boasts a wealth of prior coaching experience, having spent several years overseeing teams for the HV Victoria hockey club in Rotterdam.
Boersma started his coaching career at HC Hoeksche Waard back in 2011. Two years later he traveled to the United States where he worked with players at the Total Dutch Field Hockey club in New Jersey and then in the summer of 2014 trained athletes in the Virginia Beach, Va. area.
He joined the Duke University coaching staff in March 2017 as an assistant coach. In his first two season, Boersma culminated back-to-back trips to the NCAA Quarterfinals. In 2018 he was named the U-19 USWNT assistant coach and renamed in 2019.
Boersma holds a Royal Dutch Hockey Association (KNHB) Hockey Trainer Level 3 and Level 4, International Hockey Federation (FIH) Level 3 and USA Field Hockey Level 2 certifications.
“I want to thank USA Field Hockey for the opportunities they have given me throughout the years,” commented Boersma. “I am honored and thankful to be named the head coach of the Rise team. I am excited to help these ambitious athletes reach their field hockey goals and hopefully develop them into future Olympians!”
“I want to thank Phil and Craig for their confidence in me and I look forward to build upon ‘The USA Way’ vision and foundation they have created. I also want to thank my head coach, Pam Bustin. Her passion and pride for USA Field Hockey as an alum is inspiring and her mentorship over the last 4 years has helped me become a better coach every day.”
Boersma will coach an individual team at the Young Women’s National Championship and continue to lead the Rise USWNT program into 2022.
Paul was appointed the U-21 USWNT Head Coach after serving as the assistant in 2019. A native of New Zealand, she began her coaching career in the United States in the San Diego area at San Pasqual High School. Throughout the 1990’s, Paul was the head coach of the Southern California Futures site, a regional selector and a National Futures Tournament California team coach. In 1998-99, she worked as an assistant for the U-16 USWNT and served as a coach/selector for the U.S. Men's National Team program. She was honored as the 1997-98 California State Coach of the Year.
Paul is a 21-season veteran of the Boston University coaching staff, helping the Terriers earn a combined 20 conference tournament and regular-season titles as well as eight NCAA Tournament appearances. After serving several years as a coach in New England High Performance, she served as the head coach of the New England Junior High Performance Center in 2016 and 2018. In 2017 and 2018, she coached at the Young Women’s National Championship and was the head coach of the New England Junior High Performance squad. From 2015-16, she was an assistant coach for the U-19 USWNT and an assistant for the New England U-16 Team that competed at the 2016 National Futures Championship. Under Paul’s tutelage at BU and San Pasqual, several athletes have gone on to earn spots on the USWNT rosters.
“I am thrilled and honored to accept this appointment and continue working with our incredible U-21 athletes,” said Paul. “It’s exciting to head a group with so much potential while supporting the development of the next generation of USWNT players and building on the work of the athletes and that of the previous head coach, Jarred Martin. I would like to thank USA Field Hockey’s leadership for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to moving the U-21 squad ahead on a path to international success.”
Paul will coach an individual team at the Young Women’s National Championship as well as the U-21 USWNT in a summer series prior to preparation for the women’s 2021 Junior Pan American Championship. That tournament will take place August 16 to 29 in Santiago, Chile is a qualifier for the Junior World Cup, which will be held in South Africa in December.
“Thank you, of course, to the outgoing head coaches, Ole Keusgen and Jarred Martin, for sharing their expertise with the playing group and coaches,” added Edwards. “They have both left great foundations upon which to build on.”