ALI JOHNSTONE | ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH
Ali Johnstone is in her fourth season on the Northwestern staff. In February of 2014, she was promoted to the title of associate head coach.
Johnstone arrived in Evanston after coaching two seasons at her alma mater, Ohio University.
In 2013, the Wildcats posted a 15-5 record and earned a share of their first Big Ten regular season title since 1994. Under Johnstone's leadership, Northwestern ranked fourth nationally with a 1.13 goals-against average. Tara Puffenberger and Nikki Parsley were both named NFHCA All-America selections.
During the 2012 season, Johnstone helped the Wildcats post their winningest season in 23 years as the squad notched a 16-4 record -- defeating seven ranked opponents along the way -- and reached as high as No. 8 in the NFHCA national rankings. NU's senior class finished their careers with 51 wins, the most by a senior class since 1991.
Johnstone helped Chelsea Armstrong earn her second straight first-team All-America selection while Puffenberger was named to the All-America third team. Armstrong became just the ninth player in NCAA history to reach the 100 career goal milestone.
During Johnstone's first season on staff at Ohio, the Bobcats won their third MAC championship in a span of four years and finished with a 12-9 overall record. OU followed that up in 2010 by going 7-3 in MAC play and reaching the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Johnstone has a wealth of playing and coaching experience. A two-time NFHCA All-American and the first Bobcat to earn first-team All-MAC each of her four seasons in Athens, she graduated from Ohio in 2002 as one of the most decorated players in program history. Johnstone was a three-time first-team All-West Region honoree as well as the 2001 Ohio Female Student-Athlete of the Year. She has the career record for assists (36) and ranks third in all-time points (106) and fourth in career goals (35).
Like Fuchs, Johnstone gained extensive experience at the international playing level. A native of Delta, British Columbia, Johnstone played nine years and earned 35 caps for the Canadian national team. In 2005-06, Johnstone played professionally for Hamburg in the German Premier Division.
Before beginning her collegiate coaching career at Ohio, Johnstone was the head coach for the U-19 British Columbia Provincial A team in 2007 and the U-16 Regional High Performance team from 2006-08. Johnstone is also very involved with USA field hockey as a head Futures coach, a regional and national Futures tournament selector and a Junior High Performance Program volunteer coach.
Johnstone earned her bachelor's degree in sports sciences from Ohio in 2002.
WILL BYRNE | ASSISTANT COACH / RECRUITING COORDINATOR
Will Byrne joined the Northwestern coach staff in the spring of 2016.
“We’re excited to have Will join our staff,” said Fuchs. “He’s going to be a great addition. He brings valuable knowledge in the areas of video and technology as well as on the field. We’re thrilled to welcome him to the Wildcat family.”
“I’m beyond excited to join the team at Northwestern,” Byrne said. “To learn from coaches as brilliant as Tracey Fuchs and Ali Johnstone, to compete in a conference as competitive as the Big Ten, and to work for an institution as renowned as Northwestern—it’s an incredible opportunity.”
Byrne joins Northwestern after most recently serving as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts under the direction of former NU assistant Carla Tagliente.
In addition to his experience at UMass, Byrne has worked with a number of club and high school programs. He has worked with the Element Athletics club in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the SPark club in Severna Park, Maryland, and the Denver club in Denver, Colorado.
His high school coaching experience includes stints at Amherst Regional High (Amherst, Mass.), Sidwell Friends School (Washington D.C.) and Colorado Academy (Denver, Colo.), helping the latter reach a pair of state finals.
He earned Level 2 coaching accreditation through the US Field Hockey Association in 2010.
Byrne graduated from Colorado State University with degrees in English and music in 2007 before earning his master’s degree in creative writing from American University in 2014.