Bodimeade named USA Women’s Coach
23 Mar 2005 15:35
USA Field Hockey has named former Australian men’s team player and Olympic silver medalist Lee Bodimeade as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team.
“Lee is an excellent addition to our staff as head coach of our Women's National Team and I am very pleased that he is joining us,” USA Field Hockey President Sharon Taylor said.
“He is an individual with excellent credentials as an international player in addition to having a deep love for the game and an enthusiasm which is infectious. Together with (USA Field Hockey Technical Director of High Performance) Terry Walsh, we now have the beginnings of a strong foundation for building our women's program at all levels.”
Considered one of Australia’s top young coaches, Bodimeade, 35, served as an assistant coach for the Australian Hockey League champion Queensland Blades men’s team in 2003 and 2004 and also served as head coach of the Brisbane Premier League state champions in 2004. He was a highly-sought after specific skills coach for Australia’s pre-eminent elite sports training organisation, the Australian Institute of Sport.
“I am extremely excited about accepting the position and look forward to the journey ahead in our endeavors as a team to climb the world rankings,” Bodimeade said.
“I believe we have the desire and are well-positioned to make an attack on the top 10 in the world. The commitment and support I have received from the USA Field Hockey hierarchy and the addition of the Terry Walsh to manage the system and coaches, has shown me that the organization as a whole is committed to achieving the goals that we set out.”
The hiring of Bodimeade continues USA Field Hockey’s commitment to returning to the Olympic Games after narrowly missing qualifying for the Games in 2000 and 2004. USA Field Hockey added Walsh to the staff in January 2005 as Technical Director of High Performance and appointed Bodimeade after a comprehensive, nine-month search for a world-calibre coach. The search for a women’s head coach began in May, 2004 following the resignation of former women’s coach Beth Anders.
“We are really delighted Lee has accepted this challenge,” Walsh said.
“He has a history as a national player and as an Olympic athlete and is very highly thought of in the Australian hockey scene. He currently coaches a Queensland Blades team that has eight or nine of the (2004) Olympic gold medal team members playing, so he is very accustomed to dealing with elite athletes. He has a lot of knowledge and a fantastic hockey personality. We are sure he will make a huge impression in American hockey over the next few years.”
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.
Bodimeade is expected to join the USA team on its New Zealand Tour from 10-22 May, and then return to Virginia Beach for continued training for the Rabobank Hockey Champions Challenge. The tournament is scheduled for 8-17 July in Virginia Beach and features six of the world’s top-ranked teams including England, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and the USA. Bodimeade and the team will then begin their quest to qualify for the women’s World Cup in 2006.
“One of the first of our goals is to qualify for next year’s World Cup and finish in the top eight,” Bodimeade said.
“I see this as very achievable and the start of big things for the USA Women’s Field Hockey Team.”
Currently a resident of Coorparoo, Queensland, Bodimeade and his wife Samantha are the parents of one-year-old Mitchell.