- FIH 2014 Men’s team Coach of the Year – Ric Charlesworth
- FIH 2014 Women’s team Coach of the Year – Max Caldas
16 January 2015: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is delighted to announce the winners of the inaugural FIH 2014 Coach of the Year. Ric Charlesworth has won the Men’s team Coach of the Year and Max Caldas has been awarded the Women’s team Coach of the Year.
In June this year, Ric Charlesworth retired from international hockey coaching, a day after his Kookaburra team lifted the World Cup in The Hague. It was a fitting finale to a long and illustrious career, with the Australians taking the trophy in style, beating host nation the Netherlands in emphatic fashion; thereby earning the title 2014 Men’s team Coach of the Year.
Since taking over as coach of the men’s team in 2009, Ric has led the Kookaburras to World Cup and Commonwealth Games titles, an Olympic bronze and four Champions Trophy gold medals. Prior to that, he was coach to the women’s national team, picking up two Olympic gold medals, two World Cup gold medals, one Commonwealth Games gold and four Champions Trophy gold medals. An incredible haul of honours in addition to his illustrious playing career.
It is the latest acknowledgement of an unparalleled career at the top of Australian and world sport and follows the FIH decision in November to present him with its Order of Merit for his unique personal achievements and contribution to international hockey.
In 2014, he led the Kookaburras to victory in 19 of the team’s 23 matches under his charge, losing in three and drawing just one.
Australia’s emphatic 6-1 victory over the hosts, the Netherlands, in the World Cup final in The Hague was Charlesworth’s final flourish. It was his fourth World Cup success having guided the Kookaburras to the 2010 title in India and the women’s team, the Hockeyroos, to success in 1994 and 1998.
In doing so the Kookaburras became only the third team to ever successfully defend a men’s World Cup title as they roared back from a goal behind to leave the Dutch shell-shocked with Chris Ciriello netting a hat-trick, supplemented by strikes from Kieran Govers, Glenn Turner and Jamie Dwyer.
From 2012 to 2014, it seemed that everything Max Caldas touched turned to gold. The former Argentinian international took over as head coach to the Netherland’s women in 2010, although he had been assistant coach when they won gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The team repeated this feat under Caldas’s control at the 2012 London Olympics and then added a Hockey World League gold in 2013 and World Cup gold in 2014.
The World Cup, won in front of 15,000 adoring fans in The Hague, was the pinnacle of Caldas’s career with the women’s team. Really there was nowhere else he could go as the Oranje stormed to victory – only conceding one goal in all their matches and ensuring Max became the first FIH Women’s team Coach of the Year.
Caldas, who is contracted to the Dutch Hockey Board (KNHB) until after Rio 2016, has now moved to coach the national men’s team and his replacement as head coach to the women, Sjoerd Marijne, paid him the ultimate compliment when he said he planned to “change very little from the way Max did things.”
FIH would like to congratulate both Ric and Max and thank them for their significant contribution to hockey.