By Josh Beneteau
On Thursday, Ryerson women’s hockey head coach Lisa Haley was announced as an assistant on the coaching staff that will lead the Canadian national team at the 2013 World Championship and the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“It’s something lots of women’s hockey players dream about,” said Haley. “Coaches have the same types of dreams and I’m really excited to fulfill this one.”
Haley has been involved with the national program since 2004. Most recently, she worked as a team consultant at the 2012 World Championships in Burlington, Vermont, where Canada won gold.
“Hockey in Canada brings a lot of expectations for the success of the program,” Haley said. “Canada has won the gold medal at the last three Olympics and obviously the goal is to continue on with those winning ways.”
While working with Team Canada, Haley will need to take a temporary leave as coach of the Rams. No timetable was given for the naming of her replacement, but Haley will be part of a group that makes the decision.
“I’m a little disappointed that I’ll miss [next season],” Haley said. “Although the results don’t show it [this season], we’ve made some great strides in the program.”
While players are also sad to see their coach leave, they are pleased for her opportunity.
“The fact that she’s now going with the team to the Olympics, just shows even more that we have a top coach,” said assistant captain Melissa Wronzberg. “And just like when she was with the team at the world championships, I think we’ll all be watching her on TV.”
Haley has been the only head coach of the Rams after the team moved into the OUA in 2011.
“It’s an honour to be coached by someone who will be representing our country,” said rookie forward Michelle Evagelou. “We are lucky to have her as our coach here at Ryerson.”