Post #90 – 6/5/23 – Monday Headlines

The Impact of The 4th Coach at D-I

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Monday Headlines

NCAA coaches were out in force this past weekend at various events. Toronto and Bloomington, Minnesota seemed to be the hotspots. I made my way to through both Toronto and Bloomington (without delay thankfully).

Coaches On The Move

There has been a little movement with some recent D-III and D-I coaching changes.

In D-III, the University of Dubuque has added Michael Kuruc III as an Assistant Coach.

And Hilbert College will have a change in leadership as Head Coach Cole Klubec has departed his position. A search is underway for his replacement.

In D-I, Kate Leary, who played for the Boston College Eagles, will be leaving her assistant position at Merrimack College and returning to her alma matter in the same role. That leaves two open asst. positions for Merrimack.

Shelly Picard, former 2014 US Olympian, is leaving her assistant position at Princeton and has been named an assistant coach with Long Island University. Princeton now has an open asst. position to fill.

St. Cloud State University has advertised its job posting for a full-time assistant Coach. This is a posting for St. Cloud’s 4th full-time coach.

4th Full-Time Coach at D-I

Back in January the NCAA legislated an additional 4th full-time coach would be allowed in women’s and men’s D-I hockey beginning July 1. The NCAA also legislated the volunteer coach designation removed from the rule book.

Which begs the question: Will all D-I women’s hockey programs get a 4th coach?

The answer is a little harder to come by. Yes, some will make that hire soon, just as St. Cloud has advertised for. But it will come at a cost. And not just a financial one.

Full-Time employees at institutions means more money spent. What constitutes ‘full-time’ at one school, may not at another. Employment laws regulations differ from school to school and state to state.

Another cost is time in managing that extra person. Head Coaches now have a new voice to account for, a new personality to manage. The staff dynamic could change drastically with someone unknown and new. Or may be it won’t. Most staffs have a volunteer coach, and it’s conceivable, that person may slide into the new 4th coach role.

It will be interesting to see how the 4th coach plays out with D-I programs. One aspect a lot of coaches have discussed is the impact to D-III.

D-III has always had issues filling positions. There just isn’t a huge pool of qualified coaches to fill them. Take away 44 people to fill the 4th coach spot at D-I, and now D-III programs could really struggle to find coaches.

What the fourth coach will do is certainly open the door for more females, recent graduates perhaps, to get into coaching – be it at D-III or D-I.

Until Next Time Everyone… Be Well and take Care,

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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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