Long-time USA Field Hockey President Sharon Taylor today announced her resignation from the USA Field Hockey Board of Directors as the organization moves forward with a new governance model.
ÔÇ£I've certainly enjoyed my more than 40 years of involvement with USA Field Hockey and wish the association and our national teams all of the best as they continue working toward their goals,ÔÇØ said Taylor. ÔÇ£As things change, you have to consider those changes and their compatibility with your own philosophies. Strong leadership of the association -and its direct connection with the membership - has always been a hallmark of our organization and I hope we don't lose sight of that.ÔÇØ
In December, USA Field Hockey's Board of Directors approved revised bylaws allowing for a more streamlined structure as well as the elimination of the Board's executive offices. Taylor would have remained on the Board as a director through the conclusion of her term in 2008. Under the new bylaws, the Board of Directors will elect a chair at its next meeting.
The restructuring follows the philosophy adopted by most national governing bodies and adheres to guidelines suggested by the United States Olympic Committee.
ÔÇ£Sharon Taylor has been a tireless advocate for women's sport and a devoted leader for field hockey throughout her entire career,ÔÇØ said USA Field Hockey Executive Director Sheila Walker. ÔÇ£Her efforts are most clearly seen in her support for the athletes whose performance she has championed as well as in her support of the coaches and staff that help these athletes reach their highest potential. Her leadership mark is clearly imprinted on the future success of our national teams and the structure that leads the USA to success. We wish her every success and offer our great thanks for her service to USA Field Hockey. ÔÇ£
Elected by the organization's membership in 2000, Taylor was in her second term as the association's president. During her tenure, USA Field Hockey saw a surge in participation at the grassroots level as well as a revival in international competitions in the United States. Under Taylor, USA Field Hockey hosted international tournaments each year since 2001 including the Rabobank Champions Challenge in 2005. The Champions Challenge represented the first major International Hockey Federation event in the United States since the 1996 Olympic Games.
An advocate for increased opportunities for women, Taylor lobbied for an increase in the number of women's field hockey teams at the Olympic Games. In 2005, the International Olympic Committee approved an increase in the number of women's teams at the Games from 10 teams to 12 teams, matching the number of men's teams at the Olympic tournament.
As president, Taylor was instrumental in USA Field Hockey's partnership with the City of Virginia Beach in establishing the USA Field Hockey National Training Center. The Training Center opened in the fall of 2001 and serves as the home of the USA women's national team and USA Field Hockey events including the National Futures Championship and USA Club Championship.
Taylor's resignation comes at a time of rising success and promise for the USA national teams. The USA women equaled their second-best World Cup finish ever with a sixth place showing in 2006 while the USA men continue to make strides with the establishment of regional training opportunities, increased participation and the successful introduction of an annual National Championship tournament.
Under the new bylaws, Taylor will be the last of USA Field Hockey's member-elected officers. She was the 18th president of USA Field Hockey in a succession that dates back to the founding of the organization in 1922.
The Director of Athletics at Lock Haven (Pa.) University, Taylor served as head field hockey coach for the Lady Eagles from 1973-95. She compiled a 333-96-27 record while guiding Lock Haven to six national championships. She was named NCAA II Field Hockey Coach of the Year in 1993, '94 and '95.
Taylor previously served as USA Field Hockey's representative to the USOC Board of Directors in addition to serving as chair of the NCAA Division II Field Hockey Committee. She served terms as president of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), College Field Hockey Coaches Association (CFHCA) and Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (EAIAW).
USA Field Hockey is the National Governing Body for the sport of field hockey in the United States and is responsible for the promotion and development of the sport throughout the country. USA Field Hockey trains and prepares teams to participate in international competitions such as the Olympic Games, Pan American Games and International Hockey Federation World Cup.
Source: USA Field Hockey