USA Ultimate Announces 2018 U-24 National Team Assistant Coaches

Posted: November 22, 2016 05:02 PM

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Nov. 22, 2016) – USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States and proud member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is excited to announce the assistant coaches selected to help lead the national teams that will compete at the 2018 World Under-24 Ultimate Championships

Joe Durst (Denver, Colo.) and Mike MacKenzie (Cambridge, Mass.) will join Head Coach Bob Krier in leading the men’s team. Lauren Boyle (Boulder, Colo.) and Jake Henderson (Minneapolis, Minn.) join Head Coach Martin Aguilera as the mixed team’s coaches. And DeAnna Ball (Columbus, Ohio) and Nancy Sun (San Francisco, Calif.) complete Head Coach Alex Snyder’s coaching staff for the women’s team. 

The 2018 U-24 coaching staff brings with them extensive experience across all levels of the sport. Durst, Boyle and Sun all have previous experience coaching U-24 National Teams; Henderson was the U.S. Mixed National Team’s head coach at the World Ultimate and Guts Championships (WUGC) this summer in London; Ball was part of the U.S. U-20 Girls’ National Team coaching staff at the World Junior Ultimate Championships this year in Poland. 

Durst has helped lead each of the last two U-24 men’s teams to gold medals at the U-24 World Championships, each under Head Coach Bob Krier. In addition, he spent the most recent club season with Denver Molly Brown, coaching them to a semifinals appearance at the National Championships. Durst also has experience coaching ultimate at the high school and college levels, as well as having played and coached both domestically and abroad while living in London. Mackenzie has coached Boston Wild Card since 2013 and helped them become one of the most successful teams in the mixed division. He has also been a coach of Harvard Red Line in the men’s college division since 2011 and was previously a coach for Loyola University-Chicago’s men’s team. In addition, he was a selection assistant during the 2015 Under-24 National Team cycle, helping build a mixed squad that went undefeated on their way to claiming a gold medal.  

"I'm very excited to have Joe Durst return to the U-24 National Team for a third cycle, as he brings great international experience and consistency to the U-24 program," said Men’s Head Coach Bob Krier. "And we're also looking forward to working with Mike, who has built an impressive college program at Harvard guided by the same principles that we work so hard to instill in our national team programs."

Boyle served as an assistant coach for the 2015 Under-24 Women’s National Team, helping lead them to a silver-medal finish at the World Championships. In addition to competing at the highest level with Denver Molly Brown, she has coached Kali, the University of Colorado’s women’s team, since 2013 and was a high school coach for the two previous years. As mentioned above, Henderson led the U.S. Mixed National Team to an undefeated performance and a gold medal at this year’s World Ultimate and Guts Championships. He is also the coach of Minneapolis Drag’n Thrust, a team he led to three consecutive national titles – making them the first mixed team in history to accomplish the feat – in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Henderson also spent nine years coaching high school ultimate in the Minneapolis area. 

"I am super excited to work with both Lauren and Jake this cycle," said Mixed Head Coach Martin Aguilera. "I feel like they both complement my strengths and supplement my weaknesses as a head coach. Both of them supply an excitement, an intelligence and a familiarity with the Worlds stage that will help make our delegation the best possible."

Ball’s coaching career began 10 years ago with Ohio State Fever. She has helped Fever qualify for the College Championships in six straight years and led them to their first national title in 2014, the first team not from the west coast to win the championship since 2001. Ball has also coached Columbus Rival in the women’s club division for the past two seasons and helped them to their first National Championships appearance this fall. And as mentioned above, she was an assistant coach for the silver-medal-winning 2016 U-20 Women’s National Team. Sun has earned two gold medals in the past two years as an assistant coach for the 2015 U-23 Mixed National Team and for the 2016 Mixed National Team at WUGC. She also spent several years coaching at the college level. In addition, Sun has extensive experience as an elite athlete, competing at the national and international levels with San Francisco Fury. 

"I set out with the goal of bringing together the strongest group of coaches that would not only help lead the next group of U-24 women on their quest for a gold medal but would also inspire those athletes and the women and girls in our sport around the country to achieve greatness as leaders on and off the field," said Women’s Head Coach Alex Snyder. "I am confident that I have achieved this goal with Nancy and DeAnna and am so excited to work shoulder to shoulder with them as we take on the world."

Player applications for the 2018 World Under-24 Ultimate Championships are now open. Interested athletes should apply by Sunday, Dec. 11. Tryout camps for invited applicants will be held in June 2017.

The U-24 World Championships will be held January 7-13, 2018, in Perth, Australia. 

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