COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Following the announcement of all winners, USA Field Hockey is individually highlighting each recipient of USA Field Hockey's 2021 Annual Awards. This week, USA Field Hockey is honored to feature the 2021 National Coach Award winner Jill Cosse.
Cosse has a lengthy resume of coaching, including at the high school, club and college levels. She first became a field hockey coach in the fall of 1995, when she was the assistant at Kean University, while also serving at the inaugural women’s lacrosse head coach. A stint she held for two years, she then transitioned to the head coach at West Essex High School in North Caldwell, N.J., a position she still currently holds. In her 25 years with the Knights, she has amassed a record of 517-44-12 and is recently coming off a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group 2 State Championship, the 13th of her coaching and 21st in program history.
In the summer of 2020, Cosse and her husband started the club NJ GRIT. Since its inception the team has attended a handful of prestigious events, including the Disney Field Hockey Showcase and National Indoor Tournament (NIT), earning gold in the 2021 U-14 Girls NIT division. Prior to starting NJ GRIT, she was also the co-owner, director and coach of New Heights Field Hockey Club from 2002 to 2017.
Her experience in coaching has led to many honors and awards. These include the 1999 Kean University Pioneer Women in Sports Awards, 2005 Star Ledger Statewide Field Hockey Coach of the Year, 2007 Star Ledger Statewide “The Inaugural” Field Hockey Coach of the Week, 2007 and 2013 NJSIAA/NFHS Field Hockey Coach of the Year, 2016 NJ.com Legacy Program Field Hockey and 2016 MaxFieldHockey.com High School Regional Coach of the Year. Cosse was also part of the induction classes into the 2001 Wall High School, 2001 New Jersey, 2011 The College of New Jersey, 2012 NJSIAA/New Jersey Scholastic Association and 2015 US Lacrosse New Jersey Halls of Fame. In 2005 she was a featured speaker on the WFAN Nationally syndicated radio talk show with Rick Wolf and Bob Hurley, where they talked about “Parents and Discipline in Sports”.
Cosse has also held many leadership positions on various committees involved with the sport. Since 1998 she has been the North Jersey Field Hockey Association Vice-President and Banquet Chair. From 2011 to 2015, she was both the Regional Chair of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) New Jersey All-American Committee and on the NFHCA National All-American Committee, and for 11 non-consecutive years, she also was on the NFHCA Regional All-American Committee.
"I'd like to extend a very gracious thank you to USA Field Hockey and all the incredible people, parents, players and fans who support, promote and grow this game that we love," commented Cosse. "To have been given the honor of being nominated among these coaching icons in this nomination class of 2021 by USA field hockey was already more than the honor of a lifetime. I am a very lucky person because field hockey has been one of the strongest positive influences on my life. Many years ago, I remember reading the story about a mother cat who went in and out of a burning building in NYC over and over again until she dragged out all her kittens. She would not stop till her work was done no matter the cost. I feel like coaching has been like that for me. I have always demanded everything from my players and assistant coaches, and they expect that of me. We are a family built on the love we create, and it's a love that transcends much else in this world. I am grateful for every win, loss and lesson learned on the road here. Thank you to all those women before me and those players and coaches that will come after me. I pray every day that my daughters get the gifts I received from this beautiful game."
Congratulations once again to Jill Cosse for winning the 2021 USA Field Hockey National Coach Award. Join USA Field Hockey to celebrate and honor all of the 2021 Annual Awards on Saturday, February 5, 2022 at the 100th Anniversary and Hall of Fame Celebration, hosted by the U.S. Field Hockey Foundation, at The Union League of Philadelphia. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.