USA Field Hockey Opens Nominations for USOPC Coach of the Year 2021 Awards

by USA Field Hockey

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Each year, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) awards deserving coaches within the sports realm in eight award categories.


USA Field Hockey is accepting external nominations for the below USOPC Coach of the Year 2021 Award Categories and encourages your input to honor and recognize those individuals who made a significant impact in the sport.


Please fill out the nomination form below for a coach you believe is deserving of these prestigious awards. All nomination forms must be completed by the deadline of Friday, November 19, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. USA Field Hockey will submit one nomination per each category to the USOPC Selection Committee by Tuesday, November 30, 2021 for consideration. Award winners will be selected and announced at the end of January 2022.


(more than one Nomination Form Can be filled out per nominator)


Development Coach of the Year

  • Coach at the youth club, high school or junior level, or a coach who is directly responsible for training athletes to reach the junior and/or elite level

Volunteer Coach of the Year

  • Coach who does not receive payment in any form for their involvement in coaching at any level 

In previous years, USA Field Hockey had three individuals recognized as award winners. In 2014, Dave Hamilton, former U.S. Women’s National Team Director of Performance Science (2013-2016), received the National “Doc” Counsilman Science and Technology Award for his innovative ways in using sports science. His selection served as a testament to his dedication to the USWNT program and the foundation of knowledge that allowed him to understand the importance of integrating sports medicine, sport science and technology into an elite sport setting. Through his research and findings, he established unique methodologies and systems to facilitate a positive change in field hockey performance markers and helped fast track the USWNT in their physical qualities since 2013.


In 2015, Craig Parnham, former USWNT Head Coach (2013-2016) and current USA Field Hockey Director of Coach Education and Learning, was honored as the National Coach of the Year for his impact and leadership that helped propel the program to new heights as a top-10 international world ranking team. During this short tenure, the USWNT climbed in the world rankings to eighth after the 2014 Rabobank World Cup, and eventually catapulted to fifth in 2015, marking a historic milestone for the program. Highlighting the 2015 season, he guided the USWNT to the gold medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto, where the team also earned direct qualification to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a semifinal victory over Canada.


In 2019, Karen Shelton, current University of North Carolina Head Coach (1981 - current), received the first-ever College Coach of the Year award for the level of recognition she presented at the NCAA level and impact she has made on the sport. In her tenure, she has built one of the country's finest field hockey programs and is the first female coach at UNC to have a playing facility named in her honor. She has led UNC to national prominence highlighted by eight NCAA championships, 24 final four appearances, 22 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and 37 winning seasons. The 2019 season was one of the best in program history in which the Tar Heels went undefeated, 23-0, for the second straight year and claimed the program's eighth national title.



USOPC Coach of the Year 2021 Timeline:

Open Nomination: Friday, November 5 to Friday, November 19, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET

USA Field Hockey to Pick Top Nomination and Submit: Saturday, November 20 to Tuesday, November 29, 2021

USOPC Selection Committee Reviews Nominations: Tuesday, December 1, 2021 to Mid-January 2022

USOPC Selection Committee Announces Award Recipients: End of January 2022


For a comprehensive list of previous USOPC Coach of the Year Award recipients, visit