DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University head field hockey coach Pam Bustin has announced the addition of Ralph Boersma to the Blue Devil coaching staff. A native of The Netherlands, Boersma joins Wesley Drew as an assistant coach.
“We are thrilled to introduce and welcome Ralph Boersma to our coaching staff,” Bustin said. “After a thorough search, it was apparent that Ralph possessed the skills, knowledge and perspective that best fit our available coaching position. He has a true passion for the sport; as a player, as a student, as a fan, and most importantly, as a teacher. His calm demeanor allows his intensity and his message to be clearly translated through his drills and examples. He is a team player who dedicates his time and love for something bigger … DUKE TRUE. Ralph has had an immediate positive impact on our program and has wholeheartedly embraced our Duke True Core Values.”
Boersma boasts a wealth of prior coaching experience, having spent a number of years overseeing teams for the HV Victoria hockey club in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He most recently served as the head coach of the club’s U19 Boys Team from 2014-16 and occasionally as a field trainer for HV Victoria’s First Mens Team. His time in Rotterdam also included indoor and outdoor seasons with several age levels of boys and girls youth teams. During his stint at Victoria, Boersma coached several players who made it through the ranks of the Dutch National Teams at the U17 and U19 level. In addition, many of the youth players he coached are currently active on the highest Dutch senior level and some are active internationally in England and Canada.
In addition to his time spent with the HV Victoria hockey club, Boersma also coached with HC Hoeksche Waard club program, based in Mijnsheerenland, Netherlands. He served as the head coach of the First Mens Team from 2011-15 and as the head coach of the U19 Boys squad from 2009-11.
“Ralph’s European hockey education brings a new perspective to our program and has inspired great discussion and discovery amongst the coaching staff,” Bustin said.
Boersma has previously coached in the United States as well, spending the summer of 2014 training athletes in the Virginia Beach area and the summer of 2013 working with players at Total Dutch Field Hockey in New Jersey.
Boersma has completed both the Hockey Trainer 3 and Hockey Trainer 4 coaching courses at the KNHB (Royal Dutch Field Hockey Association) in the Netherlands and holds Level 2 certification from USA Field Hockey.
Before joining the coaching ranks, Boersma enjoyed a successful playing career with HC Hoeksche Waard and HV Victoria, competing in several regional divisions with the two programs.
A 2011 graduate of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Boersma went on to earn a Master’s in Public Administration from the same university in 2013.
“I'm truly honored and excited to come on board the field hockey coaching staff of Duke University,” Boersma said. “It has always been a dream to work in the American collegiate hockey system and I can't think of a better place to do so than Duke. I look forward to working with and learning from a head coach of the likes of Pam Bustin and I'm very grateful for the opportunity she presented me. I am only at the beginning of my coaching career and working in this environment allows me to develop my skill set further and learn new aspects of the profession every day. Getting to know and work with the team has been amazing thus far. The Duke student-athlete is special because they hold themselves to the highest standards in every way. As a coach, there is nothing more inspiring than that. I look forward to a successful future and ... Go Duke!”
At Duke, Boersma joins a coaching staff that features the 2016 ACC and NFHCA South Region Coach of the Year in Bustin and Drew, who helped guide the Blue Devils to their first ACC regular season title and No. 1 national ranking during her first year in Durham. The 2016 campaign also saw the Blue Devils compile a 16-4 ledger and advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-straight year.
“I believe that, without a doubt, Duke field hockey boasts one of the best, most comprehensive coaching staffs in the country,” Bustin said. “The combined experiences and expertise that is shared amongst Wesley, Ralph and myself will guide and develop the great talent that chooses to represent Duke True today and for years to come. Our commitment to our team culture, to elite playing development and to the highest level of competition that any team at Duke University desires and deserves, will support each student-athlete in achieving their goals on and off the field throughout their four years at Duke. We love the game, we love the process, we love our team and we love winning for Duke.”
Bustin’s squad opens spring competition with a series of scrimmages later this month, with four dates at home in Durham this spring. Check out the upcoming spring and fall slate here.