Julie Foudy to offer keynote conversation at 2023 NFHCA Annual Convention

Aug 25, 2022 | 2022-2023, News

BROCKPORT, N.Y. — The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is thrilled to announce that Julie Foudy will participate in a keynote conversation at the 2023 NFHCA Annual Convention.

Foudy, sports commentator and decorated women’s soccer player, will be joined on stage by Marlene Bjornsrud, the former executive director of WeCOACH and leading expert on gender equity in sports, for a keynote conversation covering the state of women’s sports. Their session is scheduled for Thursday, January 12, 2023.

Foudy, former captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team and one of the most accomplished female soccer players in the world, joined ESPN in 2005 as women’s soccer and FIFA World Cup analyst. Following her work during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Foudy’s role at ESPN was expanded to include serving as a features reporter and a spokesperson for select company initiatives. Currently, Foudy serves as one of espnW’s primary voices, providing commentary, reporting and digital features for ESPN’s women-focused brand, including hosting the hit espnW podcast, Laughter Permitted with Julie Foudy. She also provides personality-driven features for ESPN studio programs including SportsCenter and Outside the Lines and is the lead game analyst for ESPN’s U.S. National Women’s Team and college soccer coverage.

As an athlete, Foudy competed as a midfielder for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1987 through 2004, serving as the team’s captain from 2000 through her retirement. In her 17-year national team tenure, the U.S. women won two FIFA Women’s World Cup titles (1991, 1999), captured two Olympic gold medals (1996, 2004), and the silver medal in 2000 – en-route to becoming one of the most successful national soccer teams ever in the sport. Foudy’s retirement, ending a remarkable international soccer career with 271 matches, along with fellow women’s soccer legends Mia Hamm and Joy Fawcett marked the end of what was generally known as the “golden era” of women’s soccer in the United States. She was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in August 2007.

A former president of the Women’s Sports Foundation (2000-02), Foudy received the 1997 FIFA Fair Play Award for her trip earlier that year to Pakistan to examine the working conditions of factories of her then-sponsor, Reebok. A four-time All-American at Stanford and the 1991 Soccer America Player of the Year, Foudy graduated in 1993, having earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. She turned down an admission into the Stanford Medical School to pursue a career in sports.

Bjornsrud, a leader and advocate for women’s sports as an athlete, coach, and administrator, served as the executive director of WeCOACH (formerly the Alliance of Women Coaches) and was the founder — along with Foudy and Brandi Chastain — of the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI). In 2011, she was invited to Washington, D.C. to engage with the White House Council on Girls and Women. In 2012, she was honored to engage in small group conversation with First Lady Michelle Obama about women’s rights, Title IX, homophobia, and the work of BAWSI in engaging female athletes to inspire physical activity among young girls in high-poverty communities. Bjornsrud’s lifetime of work in helping girls and women find full participation was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 2013 with its prestigious Women and Sport Award for the continent of the Americas.

Bjornsrud began her career in sports at Grand Canyon University as the women’s tennis coach, leading her team to the NAIA National Tennis Championship in 1981. She served as an athletic administrator at Grand Canyon and later at Santa Clara University. In 2000, with the formation of the first women’s professional soccer league in the United States, she was named general manager of the Bay Area team which won the first league championship in 2001.

Bjornsrud has served the NFHCA as a special consultant to the Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee as well as a speaker at several in-person and virtual events. Bjornsrud’s Coffee Talk on “Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty” at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was the inspiration for the NFHCA’s Circle-Up initiative.

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2023 NFHCA Annual Convention

The 2023 NFHCA Annual Convention incorporates NFHCA business meetings, on-field educational sessions, a variety of speakers, the NFHCA Hall of Fame reception, and multiple opportunities for attendees to connect with their colleagues. The NFHCA Annual Convention is where coaches from all levels gather yearly to connect, learn, and grow.

The 2023 NFHCA Annual Convention will take place between January 11 — 13, 2023 at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary in Lake Mary, Florida. NFHCA members can register for the event online.

The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is a nonprofit organization serving field hockey coaches and supporters of the game from across the United States. The mission of the organization is to champion, strengthen, and celebrate field hockey coaches and the game. The NFHCA strives to cultivate and recognize the professional contributions of its membership and to foster and promote the growth of the sport. The NFHCA is responsible for providing a recognizable presence and voice in regard to legislation affecting the sport as well as interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.