Junior High Performance Staff Appoints U-16 & U-18 USWNT Head Coaches

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Following review of all applications, USA Field Hockey’s women’s Junior High Performance (JHP) staff is pleased to appoint the head coaches of both the U.S. U-16 and U-18 Women’s National Teams. Leading the U-16 squad will be Tamara Durante and at the helm of the U-18 team will be Mark Egner.

“We were very impressed with the level of interest and number of quality applicants who applied for the JHP Head Coaching roles,” said Grant Fulton, USA Field Hockey’s Director of Junior High Performance. “Our head coaches, assistant coaches and their support staff will put together the best possible development environment for both groups of athletes to thrive. We are very fortunate that across all our JHP programming that we have a fantastic group of coaches and support staff who are willing to volunteer their time to support the next generation of the U.S. Women’s National Team.”

The coaches interviewed was based on various criteria including current involvement and experience in USA Field Hockey Coach Education offerings, experience of playing and coaching in USA Field Hockey’s High Performance and Nexus program. 

The U.S. U-16 and U-18 Women’s National Team Selection Camp will take place December 1 to 3 in Charlotte, N.C., and then the named squads will meet in February and March 2024, as they prepare for international tours.

Durante has been a familiar face within the women’s Junior High Performance program for the past 21 years. She is in her sixth season as the associate head coach for the Michigan State University program and her ninth overall in East Lansing. She came to MSU in 2015 and was an assistant coach for three seasons before being promoted to associate head coach in June 2018. She came to Michigan State after 10 seasons at Yale University. Serving as an assistant coach from 2005 to 2010, Durante was promoted to associate head coach in 2010, spearheading recruiting efforts while working mainly with goalkeepers and forwards.

Durante helped the U-21 USWNT to a gold medal at the Junior Pan American Championship in October 2008 after serving as an assistant coach. She has coached in the Futures Program (now Nexus) since 2002 and served as the Great Lakes Regional Futures Director from 2003-05. She has been a selector for various USA Field Hockey programs, including the U-16 USWNT and Futures Elite. Durante coached at the AAU Junior Olympic Games from 2006-08 and 2010-13, winning a gold medal in 2012. Durante served as an assistant coach for the U-19 USWNT and its successor, the USA Rise Team, taking home gold with the U-19 squad at the 2019 Young Women’s National Championship and claiming the bronze medal with the Rise squad at the 2021 Young Women’s National Championship. Most recently she led the U-16 USWNT to victory at the Easter Tournament in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands.

She worked as a head coach for Quebec Field Hockey and as a video technician for Field Hockey Canada before transitioning to assistant field hockey coach at Ohio University in 2001.
A native of Lachine, Quebec, Durante is a 2000 graduate of the University of Alberta and was a five-year starter for the field hockey team there. She helped the Pandas to a silver medal in the CIAU Championship in 1997 and bronze medals in 1996 and 1999.

Previously an assistant coach for the squad, Egner has shifted into the role of the U-18 USWNT Head Coach. In 2023, he entered his third season as Dartmouth College’s head coach and is continuing to develop on progress shown in 2022. They recorded three straight wins from September 9 to 18 – marking the program’s longest winning streak since 2017. Dartmouth began the streak by beating Northeastern, 4-3, for the Big Green’s first win over the Huskies since 1987. The other wins came against Sacred Heart (4-2) and Merrimack (2-1).

Prior to Dartmouth, Egner spent the previous five season on the sidelines at William & Mary with the last two seeing him elevated to associate head coach. Prior to his years with the Tribe, he spent two seasons as an assistant at Longwood. Before coming across the pond to coach in the United States, he spent four years as a coach in his native Ireland. He was an assistant coach and video coordinator with the Irish Hockey Association's U-18 and Senior National teams in 2012, before becoming the head coach at the Fermoy Hockey Club. Egner also served as head and assistant coach of the U-18 women's program for the Munster Hockey Association in Munster, Ireland, selecting and training 18-20 athletes each year for the national team selection tournament.

Egner is heavily involved with USA Field Hockey’s Coach Education Program and has been a coach educator at a number of Level 1 and 2 Instructional Coaching Clinics and workshops. He is USA Field Hockey Level 2 Coach Certified and has taken multiple International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) Coaching Courses and certifications.