Post #82 – 5/25/23 – The ‘Off-Season’ Of Change

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First, A Few Words…

It has been quite a while since my last post and apologies are in order. It’s been WAY too long of an absence. In the twists and turns of the college hockey season, the time required to post as often as I hoped and in the manner I wanted, became a true challenge.

As the title of today’s post would indicate, it’s now the ‘Off-Season’ and I have a bit more free time (I think) to update the Pipeline about what’s going on in the world of Women’s College Hockey. There is certainly lots to discuss.

So, in the interest of brevity, I’ll be trying a new approach: 1) shorter length posts for a quicker read and 2) an increased frequency in the # of posts published. That means more updates, more information, more often. That’s the goal.

To all of you who stopped me at the rink with a comment or to suggest a topic to discuss, thank you for paying attention.

Now let’s get to it.

Next Year Is Here

‘Next Year’ in the college hockey world is here.

Most institutions have already had or are about to have graduation ceremonies. It’s an exciting time for coaches and players, but also a bit scary at the same time.

Seniors depart to do real-world things be it grad school, a job, time off to travel, or even perhaps extend their playing careers in North America or overseas. It also means next years crop of freshmen and transfers are just a few short months, weeks in some D-I cases, away from matriculating to campus to start new beginnings.

With May comes a chance for coaches to get a bit of downtime, a chance to re-charge their batteries before the summer recruiting and camp season kicks in. Players are able to do the same before hitting the gym or ice to make some gains and keep up with their training. Honestly, I find it’s nice to get away from the game for a bit. I always gain a new perspective as I inevitably mull over the past season. I also get the chance to reconnect with some of my passions outside of hockey–namely golf, travel, and cooking to name a few.

With the end of any season comes change, and changes in coaching staffs are all part of the coaching gig. Coaches depart, while new ones get hired. Here’s a quick look at some changes behind the bench for this upcoming season.

23-24 Coaching Changes Tracker

I’ve kept track of every D-I and D-III coaching/support staff change I could find over the past 3 seasons. Last Spring saw an unprecedented number of opportunities open-up. In what could have been anticipated, there is much less movement this Spring. As has been the case since 2002, there will be yet again be at least 3 D-I head coaching changes to start the coming season. Boston University, Stonehill, and Lindenwood will all see new faces behind the bench. Currently there are 7 head coaching changes that will take place on the D-III side of things.

One coaching change that warrants attention is actually not on the women’s side of college hockey, but on the men’s. Damian DiGiulian, head coach of the St. Michael’s College men’s D-III program will hire his first female full-time lead assistant coach–Lilly Holmes. Holmes who just last week completed her D-I playing career at Vermont, will step into her assistant coaching role for the upcoming 23-24 season. She served as a volunteer coach on DiGuilian’s staff this past season.

I can’t think of any female full-time asst. coaches with any men’s NCAA teams off the top of my head. Perhaps this is something you will see more of in the future. You can read the full story HERE via WCAX.

To see our Coaching Changes Tracker Google Sheet, just click HERE.

-Streams for games in the ECAC can be found HERE. Subscriptions will be necessary to watch games.

-Streams in the WCHA can be found HERE. Subscriptions will be necessary to watch games.

-Streams in Hockey East this year can be found HERE. Hockey East once again is streaming all game live and for FREE.

-Streams for CHA games with the exception of Penn St. can be found HERE. Paid subscriptions will be necessary to watch games.

-Streams for NEWHA games can be found at each teams’ website. Subscriptions may be necessary to watch games.

NCAA Coaching Changes… Keep up with all the coaching changes across D-I and D-III HERE.

Recruiting Events/League Online Directory… Find all the recruiting events on right HERE. Want to add your event? Click HERE to fill out our event form.

Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College and beginning his 4th season as an Assistant Coach with the Yale University women’s hockey program. Grant has developed an experienced perspective in the world of women’s ice hockey, having coached and recruited players from across the globe during his 25+ year amateur and NCAA coaching career. He has coached at 6 NCAA DIII and DI programs in the NCHA (D3), the CHA, WCHA, Hockey East, ECAC, and the Ivy League (DI). Beyond coaching, Grant served as a site representative for the 2019 NCAA quarterfinal of the D-I NCAA Tournament. He also currently serves as an Officer with the American Hockey Coaches Association as Vice President of Membership and sits on the AHCA’s Women’s Hockey Executive Committee.

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