Dec. 12, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia field hockey assistant coach Ole Keusgen has been selected to lead the U.S. U-19 Women’s National Team in 2017, as announced Friday (Dec. 9) by USA Field Hockey.
Keusgen, who just finished his second season as a member of the UVA coaching staff, and current Michigan State assistant coach Tamara Durante will both coach the U-19 team as well as supervising the Women’s Junior High Performance program, with both designed to guide and develop the nation’s elite talent pool which is projected to climb onward to the senior national team. They will both continue in their positions with their current universities while leading the U-19 program.
Keusgen will bring an international coaching perspective to the U-19 USWNT’s game by tapping into the 10 years he spent coaching both the men’s and women’s first teams of Oberhausener THC in Germany. As a player, Keusgen competed professionally in Germany with one of the top-tier field hockey clubs in European history, Uhlenhorst Mülheim. With his club team, he won the German Indoor championship in 2015 and the Euro Indoor Club Cup in 2015. Keusgen, a retired German National Team athlete, won a bronze medal at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan.
“We believe that Ole is a talented coach who can help increase the individual development of the players greatly, especially in terms of skill development,” commented Janneke Schopman, USWNT Assistant Coach and U-21 USWNT Head Coach.
“USA Field Hockey has developed tremendously over the last couple of years and I feel honored to contribute to this development by forming a team that consists of intelligent and diverse players who will grow into being what I call ‘complete’ players,” Keusgen said. “Every nation has different philosophies and ideas when it comes to field hockey and if you pay attention, you pick up new things along the way which you can add to your tool box. The time I spent in the UK, for example, taught me a more diverse variety of defensive concepts. As a coach you learn so much from working internationally, especially in high-performing countries like England, Germany or the Netherlands. Each time we (my club team) played against a Dutch team in the EHL, we had to deal with their fast pace of play, which again benefited our own system a lot. Playing internationally takes you to a whole other level – in tournaments for example you play different nations each day and will be faced with different styles of play constantly. This is why I want to develop intelligent and creative players – nowadays even the college teams are filled with international players and so the girls will play against different types of players each game. As a coach and as a player I have learned that you have to be able to analyze and adapt quickly in order to compete on the highest level – so striving towards this is what defines the way I teach the game.”
The duo replace Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley who led the program in 2016.