Field Hockey Canada is pleased to announce Australia’s Ian Rutledge has been named Head Coach of the Canadian Women’s National Team. With a wealth of international hockey experience under his belt, Rutledge is ready to lead Canada’s women towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“I am delighted Ian is joining the Field Hockey Canada team,” says Gene Muller, General Manager. “His appointment is an indication of our ambition to succeed internationally. Ian brings experience, passion, and knowledge. His track record and enthusiasm makes him the perfect fit for our Women’s National Program. We are lucky to have him, and I look forward to welcoming him into our High Performance Team.”
“I am very excited to assist a group of young and aspiring athletes achieve their Olympic dreams,” says Rutledge. “I am looking forward to bringing my passion, skills and experience to a proud and growing hockey nation that has set some ambitious goals.”
Rutledge’s international coaching career began in 2001 when he started coaching with the Australian Men’s National Team. In 2003, he accepted the role as Head Coach for New Zealand’s Women’s National Team and went on to lead the team to solid finishes at the 2004 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games. Rutledge returned to Australia in 2007 as the Coaching Manager for Hockey Australia, and in 2009 he took on the role of Sport Performance Manager at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
After four years at an executive level within the Australian High Performance Sports Industry working with Australia’s key sporting organizations, teams and coaches, Ian is looking forward to the return to this sport.
“I feel refreshed and energized for the re-entry into international coaching,” says Rutledge. “I am better prepared and have a greater perspective for the pursuit and challenges that lie ahead.”
In his role as Head Coach, Rutledge will not only focus on short to medium term objectives, but on creating a long-term legacy for the program.
“National Coaches have the responsibility to succeed both in the present as well as consciously provide the platform for the next generation of coaches and players to soar even higher,” says Rutledge. “The Women’s National Team is at such an exciting crossroads as we make our way towards Rio in 2016. Along the way, we will definitely focus on a successful performance on home turf at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Our long-term vision is to position Canada’s women for a potential podium finish at the 2020 Olympic Games.”
And just how does Rutledge plan to accomplish these ambitious goals?
“I look forward to working with our athletes and staff to create an environment that allows us to chase down aspirational goals – a team environment highlighted by enjoyable hard work and a collective pursuit of excellence,” he says.
Rutledge is ready to get to work. He will arrive in Canada on March 5th along with his family.
“Canada offers such a wonderful experience for our young family,” says Ian. “My wife, Donnette, and children, Imogen and Joshua, are looking forward to the many new experiences that lie ahead in such a beautiful and well-respected country.”
Field Hockey Canada would like to thank Own the Podium for their ongoing support of the Canadian Women’s National Team as they continue pursuing success on the international stage.