USA Field Hockey Completes Junior High Performance Staff

by USA Field Hockey

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Field Hockey is pleased to announce the completion of the Junior High Performance (JHP) Staff. In October, Craig Parnham became the High Performance Director, in December Mary Beth Zahnleuter was named the Junior Manager of Women’s Junior High Performance and Coach Education and most recently, Grant Fulton has been appointed the Director of Junior High Performance, for both the men and women, effective April 1.


“I am thrilled to round out our Junior High Performance Staff,” said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey’s Executive Director. “We are focused on further investing and developing our Junior High-Performance programming to help USA achieve the Succeed Internationally strand of our mission. Everyone brings a wealth of experience and are passionate in helping us achieve success.”


After spending 6 years as the Director of Coach Education and Learning, Parnham moved to the role of High Performance Director in October. In this position, he has worked with the U.S. Women’s National Team and will support the U.S. Men’s National Team. In addition, he will continue to oversee the Coach Education and Learning Program.


Parnham was appointed the head coach of the USWNT in January 2013. He guided the team to their best FIH World Ranking in USWNT history of 5th and propelled the squad to a fifth-place finish at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, a vast improvement from landing last at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Other noteworthy accomplishments include gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games and 2014 Champions Challenge and fourth place at the 2014 Rabobank World Cup. In January 2017, he transitioned to the role of Director of Coach Education and Learning.


Zahnleuter first started as a member of the Events Team in January 2022 as a Senior Events and Club Services Coordinator. Key to event delivery she coordinated details such as registration, scheduling, equipment ordering and shipping, staffing and commercial vending to aid in 17 indoor and 12 outdoor events run by USA Field Hockey.


In December, Zahnleuter transitioned to the role of Junior Manager of Women’s Junior High Performance (JHP) and Coach Education. In this position she has coordinated programming and activities, provided quality customer service, and managed all aspects of pre-planning for facility contracts, registrations, insurance, and staff payments. A key component to JHP she has aided the women’s staff in the planning and execution of training camps, tours, and international events.


Zahnleuter originally attended Skidmore College (2016-18) where she was part of the Thoroughbreds varsity program for two years before transferring to Boston College (2018-20), where she was a member of the club team.


“I am honored to join Team USA as the Director of Junior High Performance.  We have a great opportunity to build championship teams on a consistent basis at USA Field Hockey, and I am grateful to Simon Hoskins, Craig Parnham and the search committee for selecting me to be a part of that success,” said Fulton.


A native of South Africa, Fulton spent the last 18 seasons on the staff of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill team. He has a wealth of experience as a coach and player and will bring his expertise into the realm of Director of Junior High Performance for both the men and women.


Fulton was UNC’s assistant coach from 2005 to 2010 and associate head coach from 2010 to 2023. As one of the nation’s top collegiate programs, he was instrumental in the Tar Heels’ success by contributing to team concepts, practice, and game planning, set pieces, video analysis, recruitment, and game day substitutions. He helped lead the program to six NCAA Division I National Championships, ten Atlantic Coast Conference titles and 14 Final Four appearances, along with being four time NFHCA National Coaching Staff of the Year.


For the past 16 years, Fulton was the program director of the Carolina Field Hockey Summer Camps, where he coordinated coaching staff, camp curriculum and housing for more than 450 campers. He managed all general correspondence regarding the camp to provide outstanding customer service.


In 2009, he founded the club, Carolina All Stars, to develop youth elite players through high performance training. Also as the club director, he develops and implements the coaching philosophy and curriculum for all club athletes.

Before UNC, he spent two years coaching in South Africa, where he served as an assistant for both the men’s and women’s national teams. He spent 2002 in Canada, where he was the head coach and manager for the Vancouver Hawks Field Hockey Club, working with male and female players of all ages. In 1998-99, he played on a premier club team, Oranje Zwart (now Oranje Rood) in The Netherlands and coached the many youth teams at the club.

From 2006 to 2014, Fulton served as head coach of the South Region team at USA Field Hockey’s Women's National Championship, leading the squad to a title in 2013. As a player, he was the top goal scorer in the 2008 Men's National Championship.


A graduate of the University of Pretoria, he represented his home country at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and appeared in a total of 60 international matches with South Africa's National Team.


He has a wife, Meghan, and two kids, Oliver (9) and Everly (7) who are very supportive.


The JHP Staff is diligently working on preparing for the 2023 Junior Pan American Championships that will take place April 10 to 18 at the Wildey Hockey Centre located in the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex in St. Michael, Barbados.


Join USA Field Hockey in welcoming Fulton and sending congratulations to Parnham and Zahnleuter on their new roles!