Oct. 1, 2008

WASHINGTON - American University head field hockey coach Steve Jennings has had quite a year. After helping lead the United States National Team to the Beijing Olympics and to a eighth place finish at the Games, Jennings recently became the first United States citizen to be awarded the Title of Federation International de Hockey (FIH) Coach - High Performance.

"We at USA Field Hockey are extremely proud of Steve Jennings from American University for recently being recognized by the Federation of International Hockey for coaching excellence," said Terry Walsh, the Technical Director for High Performance at USA Field Hockey. "Being recognized as an FIH Coach, Steve becomes the first USA citizen to be the recipient of this prestigious award."

In May of 2008, Jennings was invited to an FIH Final Coaching Course in Monchengladbach, Germany. The FIH, the world governing body of field hockey, held the course over the Champions Trophy Tournament, where the top six women's teams in the world were competing, and required the eight selected invitees in "Group A" to make daily presentations on the analysis of the games over six days. "Group A" also had to write a theoretical paper, make a 30 minute video supported presentation on the topic and had to demonstrate a practical (coaching session) on the field with a randomly assigned topic.

The "Group A" coaches were eligible to be approved as FIH coaches after review of their work by the FIH conductors, which included two of the biggest names in hockey - Markus Weise, the German Men's National Team Coach, winners of the gold medal in Beijing, and Sergio Vigil, former coach of the Argentine women's team that won the World Cup in 2002. Guest presentations were made by other current national team coaches in an informative seminar.

"Steve worked with the National Women's program as assistant coach and finalized his current involvement with his experience at the Beijing Olympic Games," Walsh continued. "Jennings is the first USA coach to be recognized by USA Field Hockey's recently initiated Coaching Accreditation Program and in November 2007, Steve received the USA Level III Coaching Accreditation with recommendation to the FIH coaching Program. He attended the FIH Final Course in May 2008 and impressed the members of the Federation of the International Hockey Coaching Committee with his knowledge and outstanding presentation skills."

"We at USA Field Hockey sincerely congratulate Steve Jennings for his achievement in successfully fulfilling the requirements to be awarded the title of FIH Coach. We look forward to his further involvement with the National Women's Program at USA Field Hockey."