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USA Field Hockey extends Coaching Staff Contracts
03 Jan 2008 14:39

© FIH / Yan Huckendubler

USA Field Hockey has renewed the coaching contracts of Technical Director Terry Walsh, Women's Head Coach Lee Bodimeade and Men's Head Coach Nick Conway as part of USA Field Hockey's continuing commitment to international excellence.

Both Walsh and Bodimeade have signed through the end of 2020 while Conway has been locked in through 2022 with future options relative to the continued growth of the men's program.

"We are very fortunate to have such talented individuals working with our athletes, and we are ecstatic that Terry, Lee and Nick have agreed to stay on and continue the outstanding work they have begun with the U.S. athletes and coaches," said USA Field Hockey board chair Pam Hixon. "This is an important step in showing our commitment to our athletes who can be assured that three of the sport's top coaches will continue heading their programs through the next quadrennium."

Both the USA Field Hockey men’s and women’s teams will compete in Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in early 2008 in their bids to secure a spot in the 2008 Olympic Games.

"We are very pleased to announce the success of this crucial step in our on-going commitment to secure the very best coaching possible for our National Teams," said USA Field Hockey Executive Director Sheila Walker on the signings.  "This represents a giant step forward towards our goals for the Olympic Games of London in 2020."

Originally signed in January 2005, Walsh, 54, will continue as technical director of the USA programs including oversight of all aspects of USA Field Hockey’s men’s and women’s coaching and coach development programs. He currently heads USA Field Hockey's new coaching accreditation program.

"USA Field Hockey is moving towards a position of considerable impact on the world stage," said Walsh.  "In altering the direction of several aspects of the organization, USA Field Hockey has taken considerable steps towards becoming a significant ‘player’ in the Olympic sport of field hockey.  I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing several developments begin to take affect and I look forward to seeing how this new found momentum can best influence the USA development both on the domestic and international scenes in the years ahead. Further change and development is inevitable for us to continue to improve. We have enormous potential and it is exciting to be part of it."

Prior to joining the USA Field Hockey staff, Walsh guided the Netherlands men's team to the 2004 Olympic silver medal and previously served as the coach of the Australian men's team from 1997-2000 where he led Australia to a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games.

Named the head coach of the U.S. women's team in March 2005, Bodimeade enters his fourth year with USA Field Hockey. He led the USA to a sixth place finish at the 2006 World Cup for the team's best World Cup finish since 1994. Under Bodimeade, the U.S. women have recorded wins over No. 1 Netherlands, No. 2 Argentina and defending Olympic gold medalist Germany. The USA currently ranks 11th in the world standings and will try to claim a spot in the 2008 Olympic Games when the team travels to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament April 19-26 in Kazan, Russia.

"There were obviously a number of key factors in the decision to extend my contract through to 2020 and having a young family away from home was the most critical of these," said Bodimeade. "Their support along with the backing of the Board,  the Executive Director, all at USA Field Hockey, and the  large number of coaches that I have been fortunate enough to be involved with over the past three years, made the decision a very positive one for me."

At the end of the day I am there to coach a team, and it has been the response that I have received from the players that have provided the desire for me to extend the contract. There have been a number of hard decisions made that I believe are for greater achievement at international level, but their desire and quest for success has never wavered. I am looking forward to this continuing through our drive to the Olympics and thriving in the years to come."

A member of Australia’s national team from 1991-98, Bodimeade won an Olympic silver medal in Barcelona in 1992. He played on Australia’s bronze medal World Cup team in 1994 and earned a pair of medals in Champions Trophy competitions including a silver medal in 1992 and a gold medal in 1993. He was named USA Field Hockey's coach of the year in 2006.

A member of the USA Field Hockey staff since 2003, Conway was named head coach of the U.S. men's team in August 2005. He previously served as the women’s national team assistant coach and served as acting women’s head coach from May 2004 to March 2005. He guided the U.S. men to a spot in the 2007 Pan American Games and helped develop the growing Men's High Performance Center program.

"I'm extremely pleased to have agreed to contractual terms with USA Field Hockey, particularly with our Olympic Qualifier so close on the horizon," said Conway. "To be able to focus all energies on the important matters at hand is very beneficial. It is an exciting time within the USA Field Hockey High Performance Department.  Working with Lee and Terry on a consistent basis has been - and continues to be - hugely rewarding both personally and professionally and I look forward to continuing to push forward with our plans for the development of the Men's Game in the United States."

Source: USA Field Hockey

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