COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – December 23, 2019 – USA Field Hockey has proudly named Caroline Nelson-Nichols as the new U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach.
“I am delighted that Caroline has been appointed as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team,” said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey’s Executive Director. “She has represented and coached Team USA at every level and has developed key experiences over her time as a NCAA Division I head coach. She will bring great leadership to the team as we embark on the FIH Hockey Pro League 2020 season.”
Nelson-Nichols, a former USWNT athlete and two-time Olympian, has served as the head coach at Columbia University since 2015, totaling 41 wins with the Lions. She became the fourth head coach in program history after three seasons as an assistant coach. Prior to Columbia, she was an assistant coach at the University of Iowa in 2010.
Nelson-Nichols is no stranger to USA Field Hockey and its programming having served in several roles over the past decade within the Olympic Development Pathway. She was appointed to the Board of Directors earlier this year as an Athlete Representative and has stepped down from this volunteer role to take on her new duties. She has also worked within Futures in multiple roles since 2008, including head coach during the National Futures Championships (2016-18) and regional coaching director (2009-12). She is a certified USA Field Hockey coach educator holding International Hockey Federation (FIH) and USA Field Hockey Level 2 accreditation.
“I am honored and humbled to serve as the next head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team,” said Nelson-Nichols. “USA Field Hockey has given me so much as an athlete and I look forward to paying all of that forward to the USWNT. I am so thankful to [Simon] Hoskins and the rest of the search committee for entrusting me with this opportunity. This program is incredibly special to me and I can’t wait to get started! Go USA!”
Nelson-Nichols played defender for the USWNT from 2007-14 and totaled 165 international caps. She was pivotal on the USA backline and was part of the squad that made impressive runs at the 2014 Champions Challenge in Glasgow, Scotland where they claimed gold, as well as the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in Hague, The Netherlands where they earned fourth. She was also a member of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and London 2012 Olympic Games teams.
She had an outstanding collegiate career at Old Dominion University from 2003-06 where she was a three-time academic All-American (2004-06). In 2006, she was named NFHCA first team All-American and was named the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Defensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year, the first time in conference history an athlete earned both honors in the same season. In 2017, she was inducted into the Old Dominion University Hall of Fame.
As the new head coach, Nelson-Nichols will hit the ground running in 2020 with the second season of the FIH Hockey Pro League on the horizon. USA’s first game will be on Friday, January 24, against The Netherlands.