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Tess Ellis Confirmed as Head Coach of W&M Field Hockey
Updated: Tuesday 10/24/2013 (ET)
by Jacob Skipper
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William and Mary Athletics Director Terry Driscoll announced this afternoon that the interim label has been removed from head field hockey coach Tess Ellis' title, effective immediately.  Ellis was moved into the interim role just prior to the start of the team's competitive schedule this fall when long-time head coach Peel Hawthorne '80 stepped away from the field hockey program to move into an administrative role within the Tribe Athletics Department.  

"Tess has done an exceptional job of guiding the program through what could have been a very difficult transition," stated Driscoll.  "She stepped in for a true icon, not only within the department, but in the sport itself, and the program has not missed a beat.  I am excited to announce she is now our full time coach moving forward as I feel she is uniquely qualified to build on our proud tradition."

Ellis, who has spent 18 years as an assistant, was also focused on moving the program forward to new heights in saying "I'm honored to continue to lead this amazing group of student athletes, as we write the next chapter of W&M Field Hockey."

So far in 2013, the Tribe field hockey team has earned a 6-8 overall mark, and 2-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association.  The season has been highlighted by a 2-1 upset on the road of No. 5 Virginia, the Tribe's first win over a top-five ranked opponent since 1995.

Ellis rejoined W&M for the third time in 2010, and was promoted to associate head coach in May of 2011.  She has been instrumental in helping the Tribe regain its position in the CAA, improving to a 10-9 record in 2012 and making the conference tournament for the first time since 2008.  Last season, the Tribe broke the school record for most assists in a year and had four players earn all-conference honors.

Ellis' career also included stints as a Tribe assistant from 1993-2000, and as a volunteer coach from 2003-08.  From 2000-2003, Ellis served as the head coach of the U.S. Field Hockey Association's Under-21 and Under-23 National teams, as well as coaching the U.S. in the 2001 Junior World Cup and as an assistant coach with the National Senior team. During her time with the national Olympic program, Tess helped Head Coach Tracey Belbin develop the first Olympic residency program in Virginia Beach.  Her duties with the program included daily training programs for both field players and goalies, and she had the privilege to train legendary U.S. keepers Peggy Storrar and Amy Tran.

An internationally experienced player, coach, and clinician, Ellis has been afforded many opportunities to travel the globe through her work in advancing the sport of field hockey. Other accomplishments over the years include training and traveling with the U.S. Olympic Team in the run up to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, as well as coaching many junior travel teams.  Tess has also served in a coaching and directors role for many U.S. development camps and in the USFHA Futures program.

Ellis was also a member of the Australian National Indoor team for eight years, and was on the Australia National Under-21 squad. She represented her state of New South Wales for 11 years in both indoor and outdoor field hockey. In 1993, Ellis was the co-founder of the Colonial Field Hockey camp with Hawthorne.

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