COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In a move designed to mitigate the financial impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, USA Field Hockey has announced a restructuring of the organization that includes staff cuts and reductions in pay for all staff as well as a number of reassignments of responsibilities. The cuts and restructuring were made to sustain the organization through this challenging time while enabling the National Governing Body to continue to focus on its mission to Grow the Game, Serve Members, and Succeed Internationally.
Under the plan, all national office employees are taking a reduction in salary. All salaries are frozen for a 12-month period. In addition, three full-time national office positions and five contractual positions have been eliminated.
In announcing the plan, Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey’s Executive Director, noted the cancellation of scheduled regional and national events and other programming due to the pandemic, associated government mandates and social distancing guidelines. The safety, health and well-being of all members of the field hockey community is a core value, steering all decisions around these cancellations.
“I applaud the entire team’s work to adjust and provide as much programming as possible given the parameters,” said Hoskins, “This includes their work to prepare for return to play as soon as it is safe to do so. Given the uncertainties and challenges that have arisen worldwide and in the United States, and in looking ahead to the second half of the year, we had to make some tough decisions. We remain dedicated to our mission and values, both now and in the long-term, and to deliver on these we had to re-examine how we were operating as an organization.”
Significant changes are also being made to the organization of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team programs. With the suspension of the FIH Hockey Pro League for the remainder of the year and a pause on international travel for the foreseeable future, the opportunities for USA Field Hockey athletes to represent this country have been temporarily reduced. As a result, the organization is taking this opportunity to restructure within the Succeed Internationally pillar.
On the women’s side, the contracts of head coach Caroline Nelson-Nichols and assistant coach Marc Hardy come to an end on June 30. On the men’s side, the contracts of head coach Rutger Wiese and associate head coach Brian Schledorn have both ended. USA Field Hockey will look to hire full-time coaches for both the men’s and women’s senior national teams in the coming months.
The move to a full-time coach for the men’s program reaffirms the organization’s commitment to a team that has risen rapidly in the world rankings and made a large impression in the eyes of the men’s field hockey world. The growing number of boys in the United States playing the sport at the under-18 level and efforts to fuel this growth provide further incentive to help shape the program moving forward. It will be bolstered by the oversight of a full-time coach within the organization.
In addition, to create further alignment and support, current USA Field Hockey staff member Phil Edwards, Senior Manager of Coaching and Performance, has been reassigned to oversee the development pathways of both the men’s and women’s junior high performance programs. With the Junior Pan American Games now slated for April 2021 and the resumption of the FIH Hockey Pro League in May 2021, the future is promising for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team Olympic Pathways and programs.