When Hockey Canada recently announced its coaching staff for the men's under-18 team set to play in the world championship, the reaction surprised assistant coach Kori Cheverie.
Cheverie, who is from New Glasgow, N.S., didn't imagine being the first woman selected to coach a national men's hockey team would get the attention it did.
"I didn't expect it to kind of blow up all over social media, by any means," Cheverie said from Germany, where the team is preparing for its tournament opener against the U.S. on April 23.
The announcement is just the latest progression in Cheverie's coaching career. She began coaching local teams in 2009 when she was still a player at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.
When her days with the Huskies ended, she moved to Toronto in 2010 to play with the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women's Hockey League.
She took coaching clinics and acted like a coach on the ice for the Furies, mentoring younger players as her playing career neared an end.
"I thought it was going to be a pretty smooth and easy transition from playing into coaching, but it's definitely very humbling because [of] the work that coaches do behind the scenes," she said. "I guess I never fully appreciated it while growing up and being a player.
"You just don't see all the timeless hours that coaches put into the sport."
Cheverie played for the Furies until 2016.
Her past coaching roles have included working as an assistant with the Ryerson University men's team for five years, and helping the Canadian women win gold at the most recent Olympics.
She's approaching this latest position no differently than any other coaching job — by just being prepared.
She said many of the players on the roster are at a pivotal moment in their careers.
"It's kind of that step right before pro for them and so it's nice being able to help, shape and develop and work with these athletes, even if it's just for two weeks before they head into their pro careers," said Cheverie.
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