UNB plans to hire coach for new varsity women's hockey team
The University of New Brunswick is preparing its facilities for the new varsity women's hockey team that will take to the ice in 2018.
The university will be upgrading the dressing room that is currently used by the women's hockey club team, and it has already added a coach's office in the Aitken Centre.
The question now is, who will get to use that office?
John Richard, the university's athletic director, said the goal is to have a coach hired soon, so that person can begin to build a staff and team.
"That will cross a threshold," said Richard.
"That coach will work day-to-day to start recruiting student athletes, putting infrastructure in place, you know starting to build equipment inventory, lining up what their season plan is going to be and how they see the build going."
UNB is creating the new varsity women's hockey program after reaching an agreement with the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission and former UNB women's hockey player Sylvia (Bryson) Dooley, who filed a complaint after the program was cut in 2008.
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The university received 41 applications for the head coaching position.
Richard said the list of candidates is now down to eight and Richard's hope is to take that list down to four. Then candidates will be brought to Fredericton for face-to-face interviews.
"We wanted someone who is proven, who has coached women's hockey at a high-performance level," he said.
"Ideally they've shown an ability to recruit and build, because this is a build for sure. You're building it from the ground up."
Richard said he hopes he will be able to announce who the new coach will be in June.
There are six people looking at the candidates, including Richard, a couple of coaches at the university, a male and female student, and an associate director from a different unit on campus.
Work in Aitken Centre
The work on the dressing room will happen once exams are done at the university. That is expected to take up to four months.
It will be a total renovation of the current dressing room. There will be new shower stalls, some television screens for watching game tape and a lounge area.
The coach's office, which has already been renovated, used to be a medical room.
"It's on a pathway where the current student athletes are going to have to walk by on their way to their locker room everyday," said Richard.
"So you just see that face time as they come into the rink and leave the rink so we thought that was pretty positive."
One of the reasons the office was done first was so university officials can show candidates the office when they come to Fredericton.