Paul Steps Down as Head Coach of U-21 USWNT

Following the conclusion of the 2023 FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup, Tracey Paul has announced that she will be stepping down from her role as head coach of the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team.

Paul has been involved with USA Field Hockey for more than 30 years, devoting countless hours contributing to the growth of the sport. She has been involved with the Futures/Nexus program, U.S. Men’s National Team, and was as assistant coach for both the U-16 and U-19 women’s teams.

In 2019, Paul stepped into the role of U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team assistant coach, and was promoted to head coach in June of 2021. She has overseen the development of countless athletes as they moved up the high performance pipeline.

“It has been an incredible honor to be involved with the U-21 program over the last five years, and I will be forever thankful to USA Field Hockey for the opportunity bestowed on me to lead the program since 2021,” said Paul. “I am immensely proud of the progress and achievements this remarkable group has made competing internationally, and the foundations they have laid culturally within the program. I am grateful that this journey allowed me to grow as a coach as it has been a privilege and inspiration to work alongside hardworking, talented players and a dedicated, knowledgeable staff.”

During her tenure as head coach, Paul led the junior squad through two Junior Pan American Championships (JPAC), two Junior World Cups (JWC), the Uniphar Five Nations Tournament, and several series.

Again, Paul helped the young team steer through another postponement, as the 2021 JWC was moved to April 2022. USA completed the tournament with an eighth-place finish after finishing second in Pool A.

Like so many other coaches, Paul had the unique yet shared experience of coaching through a pandemic. Promoted in June of 2021, Paul helped to navigate the team through the training for and postponement of both the 2020 JPAC and 2021 JWC. After it was originally set to be held in December 2020, the 2020 JPAC was postponed to August of 2021. Six months into her role, Paul led the Junior Eagles to a third-place finish and secured a qualifying spot for the 2021 JWC.

Under Paul’s leadership, the Junior Eagles won gold at the 2023 JPAC for just the second time in history – last winning in 2008. The team defeated seven-time winner Argentina in shootouts after a 1-1 stalemate in regulation.

"Qualifying for the Junior World Cup and winning gold were the two goals this team set for themselves," said Paul after the win. "They got it done. Throughout the tournament the team showed growth, effort and when needed - resilience. Congratulations to all."


After the 2023 JPAC was completed, FIH released Junior Outdoor rankings for the first time in June 2023. The Junior Eagles came in ranked fifth in the world.

At the most recent JWC that concluded on December 11, the U-21 USWNT finished tenth after a third-place finish in pool play. Despite winning two matches, USA finished third in their pool by a single point in goal differential. The team displayed resilience by winning their first two crossover matches to reach the 9th/10th place match, where they fell to India in shootouts.

During Paul’s time as head coach, several members of the U-21 squad were named to the senior team. Most recently, Katie Dixon and Lauren Wadas were named to the senior squad following the 2023 JPAC.

“I was really pleased with some of the performances of a few of the U-21 athletes who also performed well at the Junior Pan American Championships,” said David Passmore, USWNT Head Coach. “The likes of Katie Dixon and Lauren Wadas are included because of their ability to play a simple effective passing game and fit into our team culture.”

“We are very grateful to have had Tracey lead the U-21 program over the past years.” said Craig Parnham, USA Field Hockey’s High Performance Director. “Her dedication and commitment have been unfailing. Under her leadership the team has created some memorable moments, not least winning the Junior Pan American Championship in June. On behalf of USA Field Hockey, I would like to thank Tracey and her staff for all they have done for the U-21 program.”

Please join USA Field Hockey in thanking Paul for all her commitment and dedication over the past 30 years.