James Hicks and Mollie Lensing have been appointed to the US National Team coaching staff as Head Coach and Assistant Coach, respectively, for the IQA World Cup in Frankfurt this summer.
The coaches have been selected for the US National Team, which will compete at the International Quidditch Association's World Cup 2016, to be held July 23-24 in Frankfurt, Germany.
James Hicks has been selected as the Head Coach. Per the US National Team guidelines, he will also act as the team’s speaking captain on-site. Mollie Lensing has been selected as the Assistant Coach. Both Hicks and Lensing are USQ certified coaches.
Hicks has been involved in quidditch for five seasons. He started his time with the sport with the University of Maryland, eventually becoming chaser captain in his second year. In 2012, he was a keeper on Team USA, winning a gold medal at the Global Games in Oxford, England. He is currently the coach for the District of Columbia Quidditch Club, the reigning Mid-Atlantic Regional Champions.
“I'd like to thank the selection committee for the time they invested in the process and for trusting [me] to lead a team of this country's best players. I'm am looking forward to working with the committee, Mollie Lensing, and the group of players that will be chosen to prepare the United States to bring home gold once again,” said Hicks.
Lensing has been involved in quidditch for almost six years. As a member of Texas A&M, she led her team to the semifinals at World Cup V in 2011. She was also a player on the first Team USA in 2012 and was elected co-captain by the team. This fall she served as the non-playing coach for Lone Star Quidditch Club, the runner-up at USQ World Cup 8 in April 2015.
“I'm extremely honored to be selected as one of the coaches for this year's Team USA. I can't wait to help build this team and continue on our tradition of excellence. Being a player on the team in 2012 was an experience that helped me grow as a player and leader in the community, so I'm excited to help foster that growth in new players this year. I coach to win, but I also coach to further develop players on and off the field. Beyond winning the gold, nothing would make me happier than to see these players go back to their respective season teams and regions and continue to facilitate the growth of the sport through all the knowledge they gain from this opportunity,” said Lensing.
The selection committee was impressed with Hicks and Lensing’s visions for the team and their strategic ideas. They are both veterans of the sport, bringing extensive experience both as players and non-playing coaches. They join the selection committee meetings this month, after meeting with the team manager, Sarah Woolsey. The two coaches will be involved in the selection process of the players. However, they will not be involved in selecting the officials that will be traveling to Germany with the team. Once everything is finalized, Hicks and Lensing will work with players to prepare the US National Team for its third international championship.
“I’m excited to work with James and Mollie to make the US National Team successful at World Cup 2016. Their dedication, knowledge, and skills are strong assets, and I’m looking forward to their guidance and leadership for the elite players on our team,” said Woolsey.
All coach applicants were required to submit an essay that detailed their interest in the position, their qualifications, and their vision for the US National Team, as well as a proposal for team training/practice schedule and process leading up to the event and letters of recommendation. The two coaches were determined by the selection committee, as announced here.
To learn more about the structure of the US National Team and the selection process, please see this page. The application materials for officials are due Monday, February 29 at 11:59pm EST. The entire US National Team roster will be announced in March 2016.