CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia director of athletics Carla Williams announced today (Nov. 21) that Ole Keusgen (pronounced Ollie Coys-jen) has been named the Cavaliers’ head field hockey coach. He is the ninth head coach in the program’s history.
Keusgen replaces Michele Madison who led the program for 18 seasons. He has served as the team’s acting head coach since the final week of the regular season, leading the team to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships last weekend.
“Ole has been an integral part of our field hockey program’s success over the past decade and we are very excited to elevate him to head coach,” Williams said. “He is a skilled teacher and gifted tactician, but most importantly he is an inspirational leader who cares about the overall development of young people. We are fortunate to have someone of Ole’s caliber leading our program.”
“It is an absolute honor to be named the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers,” Keusgen said. “I would like to thank president Jim Ryan, director of athletics Carla Williams and deputy athletics director Steve Pritzker for allowing me the opportunity to lead this gifted and incredible group of young women and those who will follow them. The University of Virginia is a truly special place, one that I love dearly, and I am grateful to continue to be able to represent it and all that it stands for.”
Keusgen has spent nine seasons on the Virginia staff. He was hired in 2015 as an assistant coach focused on the Cavaliers’ defense. He was promoted to associate head coach in May 2021.
During his time at Virginia, the Cavaliers have made the NCAA tournament eight times, including twice advancing to the NCAA semifinals (2019 and 2023), won the ACC regular-season title in 2017 and won the ACC tournament championship in 2016, the only ACC title in program history.
Keusgen has coached players to All-America status 15 times, including nine first-team selections, with 34 all-region recognitions and 25 All-ACC honors. Tara Vittese was named the NFHCA National Player of the Year each of his first three years in Charlottesville as well as twice being named the ACC Offensive Player of the Year. Current Netherlands national team player Pien Dicke was named the ACC Rookie of the Year during Keusgen’s second season.
“This year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first game in our program’s history,” Keusgen said. “It was an amazing opportunity to reflect on how much success the Virginia field hockey teams have had over the years. I have seen that for myself in my nine years here and am very excited about the opportunity to continue that tradition and take us to the next level. We made it to the Final Four this year, which was awesome, but it has also left us wanting more. Our team is ready to take that next step, to win an NCAA Championship, and I can’t wait to get started on doing what we need to do to make that happen.”
In his six games serving as Virginia’s acting head coach this season, the Cavaliers went 4-2, with both losses coming against No. 1 North Carolina. Keusgen guided the Cavaliers to a 3-2 comeback victory against Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship and, in a signature victory, defeated fourth-seeded Maryland 4-0 in the NCAA quarterfinals with the UVA defense holding the Terrapins to just one shot on goal.
In addition to serving as an assistant coach for the Cavaliers, Keusgen has coached USA Field Hockey junior high-performance teams. In 2019, he was the head coach of the U19 U.S. Women’s National Team after serving as an assistant coach for the program and a mentor for the Junior High-Performance program in 2017. He has also served as the head coach of the US Rise National Team.
Keusgen played professionally in Germany with one of the most successful field hockey clubs in European history, Uhlenhorst Mülheim, winning the German Indoor championship in 2015 and the Euro Indoor Club Cup in 2015. Keusgen also competed with the German National Team, winning a bronze medal at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan.
In addition to playing, Keusgen also coached both the men’s and women’s first teams of Oberhausener THC.
Keusgen graduated with a bachelor of science in sport science with a focus on training and health from Ruhr University Bochum in Germany.
He and his wife, Erika Ralston, reside in Barboursville.