England Hockey is delighted to announce that Jason Lee has been appointed to the role of Head Coach of the England women’s team. Lee, 42, has led the England and Great Britain men’s hockey teams as Head Coach for three Olympic cycles.
After nearly a decade in the role, England Hockey felt that the men’s programme needed fresh leadership and made the decision not to reappoint Lee for the 2013-2016 cycle. Having applied for the position of women’s Head Coach, and following an extensive recruitment process that drew interest from applicants from across the globe, he was identified as the best candidate.
Sally Munday, England Hockey Chief Executive, explained: “Jason’s wealth of experience is extremely valuable to England Hockey and whilst we feel that the men’s programme needs a change of leadership I was delighted that he applied for the role of women’s Head Coach. There was a strong field of candidates and the appointment panel felt that Jason was uniquely placed with his extensive international experience to take the women to the next level in our quest for higher podium finishes.”
Speaking after being appointed, Lee said: “The new challenge of coaching the women’s team is indeed an exciting one. They have achieved an exceptionally high standard of commitment and performance and I hope to be able to help them to win more medals, with the World Cup qualification and the EuroHockey Nations Championships this year being the first targets.
“I’ve had a long and emotional time in charge of the men’s team and I leave it with many great memories. I will miss not being in the men’s programme but am confident that they will be successful and wish the team the very best of luck.”
Danny Kerry, England Hockey Performance Director, said: “I¹m extremely pleased that we have retained the expertise and vision that Jason brings to our programmes. His vast experience working at the top level of international sport will put us in a great position to continue the progress made in recent years. I believe Jason has the ability to take the women¹s programme further on, continuing to medal at major tournaments and progress the team’s play. Jason knows what it takes to win gold having led the England men to their first European Championship title in 2009 and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”
As Head Coach of the women’s programme, Lee will be responsible for the selection, preparation, coaching and performance of the England and GB teams and senior national squad, and the teams’ results in international competitions. The position will see the former Loughborough Students coach lead the programme for the 2013-2016 Olympic cycle taking in the 2013 and 2015 European Championships, the World Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
During nearly a decade in charge of the men’s programme Lee led England from 11th in the International Hockey Federation’s world rankings to its current position of fourth. In 2009, under his leadership England won the European Championships for the first time before going on to take the silver medal at the Champions Trophy the following year, a best ever world level result for England. Another European medal – bronze - followed in 2011. As Head Coach of Great Britain, he led the men’s team at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games where GB narrowly missed out on a podium finish, losing out to World Champions Australia in the bronze medal match.
Prior to becoming England men’s Head Coach, Lee took Loughborough Students from the bottom of the Midlands league to the top end of the National Premier League, leaving the Students after finishing runners-up to Reading in the 2003 final. He also served as Assistant Coach to the national men’s and women’s squads during this time.
As a player, Lee competed for GB at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games and for England at the 1998 World Cup. After making his senior international debut at the age of 19, he went on to make 87 appearances before retiring following the 1998 World Cup.
At club level, his playing career took him from Old Bordenians, through spells with Beckenham, East Grinstead, Old Loughtonians, Cannock and Loughborough Students. He still occasionally turns out for his local hockey club.
The recruitment process to appoint a new Head Coach for the England and Great Britain men’s squads will commence immediately. Lee will take up his role with the women’s squad once a new men’s Head Coach has been confirmed.
England’s women’s squad is currently in Cape Town competing in the Investec Challenge. The team’s first match is against South Africa at 18:00 GMT tonight. Karen Brown is leading the team at the tournament, which also features the Netherlands and Australia.
Jason Lee Profile
Born 21 May 1970 in Hayes, London
Took up hockey as a child after being introduced to the sport by his hockey-loving mother.
His club career saw him play for Old Bordenians, Beckenham, East Grinstead, Old Loughtonians, Cannock and Loughborough Students. He still occasionally turns out for his local hockey club, Marlow.
1990 – Makes international debut aged 19 in match against Italy in Brussels. Goes on to win 62 caps for England and 25 for Great Britain.
1993 – Graduates from Loughborough University with a BSc in PE and Sports Science.
1997-2003 – Leads Loughborough Students from bottom of the Midlands league to the top end of the National Premier League.
2003 – Appointed Head Coach of the England men’s team.
2004 – Great Britain finishes ninth at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
2005 – England finishes fifth at the European Championships in Leipzig.
2006 – Leads England to fifth at the World Cup in Monchengladbach, the team’s highest finish since the 1990 competition.
2007 – England finishes fifth at the European Championships in Manchester.
2008 – Great Britain qualifies for 2008 Olympic Games after historic 2-1 victory over India in Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Chile.
2008 – Great Britain finishes fifth at the Olympic Games in Beijing, four places higher than their ranking at the time.
2009 – Leads England to the European Championship title with a stunning 5-3 victory over Germany.
2010 – Led England to fourth at the World Cup, a best finish since 1986, losing out to the Netherlands in the bronze medal match. World Cup campaign includes first win over arch rivals Australia since 1975.
2010 – Won Champions Trophy silver medal with England, the country’s first ever Champions Trophy medal.
2011 – England win European bronze medal beating Belgium on golden goal
2012- Great Britain’s men finish fourth at the London 2012 Olympic Games – in line with their world ranking - missing out on a medal after defeat to World Champions Australia.
Follow England's Investec Challenge campaign on the England Hockey website. Read Nic White's blog from Cape Town, read match reports and see photos here.
Nominated Country: England Hockey, the national governing body for hockey in England, is the “nominated country‟ for Great Britain, meaning that it is responsible for the operations of Great Britain Hockey with the support of Scottish Hockey and Hockey Wales. As such, the Head Coach of England assumes the role of Head Coach for Great Britain.