Women’s hockey, volleyball hire new head coaches for 2016-17

by Brandon Lee | 5/8/16 5:01pm

After finishing three seasons under .500, the women’s hockey team picked up a new coach, Laura Schuler.
by Seamore Zhu / The Dartmouth

The women’s ice hockey and volleyball squads are next in a series of teams to see a new face at the helm for the upcoming se-ason.

After finishing with a record of 6-19-3, the women’s ice hockey team is handing the reigns over to Laura Schuler. Schuler brings to the ice a resume stacked with accolades as both a player and coach. She coached internationally at various positions. Her most recent stint was as the head coach of the Canadian national team. She has also spent time with the programs at Northeastern University, the University of Massachussetts Boston and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. As a player, Schuler earned a silver medal as a part of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games Canadian women’s team, among many others with the Canadian national team.

“Obviously her pedigree with the Canadian national team was really exciting for us,” athletic director Harry Sheehy said. “We hope that’s a nice recruiting connection for us. She’s so well-known out there in the ice hockey community. She’s technically proficient, a great person, really fun to work with.”

Schuler’s success is no big secret, though, following a simple, fundamental coaching philosophy.

“I believe in the importance of preparing my players to the best of their abilities, physically, mentally, technically and tactically,” Schuler said. “I believe a holistic approach to ensuring proper preparation is a fundamental of all great coaches.”

Although the team has failed to reach .500 for the past three years, Schuler is not worried.

“For me, right now, the most important thing is making time to get to know who my players are as people and as elite D1 student athletes,”Schuler said. “I am really excited to get to know each and every one of our student athletes better and am equally excited about the plan that I have in place, which will continue to build upon an already solid foundation.”

Meanwhile, the women’s volleyball team is coming off one of their best seasons, in which they went 9-5 in Ivy League play, their best conference record to date. Former head coach Erin Lindsey was named one of the Ivy League Coaches of the Year in 2015, the first Dartmouth head coach in volleyball’s history to receive the award and had three student athletes named to the All-Ivy First Team.

Following Lindsey’s departure to Illinois, Sheehy recruited head coach Gilad Doron from the other side of the country, the University of San Francisco, where he “did an outstanding job in a very tough league and had some huge victories,” Sheehy said.

Doron, who coached internationally after ruthlessly racking up four Israeli League titles as a player, has been described as “a very kind and caring person who cares about [the team] as people and wants [them] to be well-rounded individuals” by setter Stacey Benton ’17. One of the main reasons Sheehy hired the Israeli native was for his ability to connect with student athletes.

Sheehy recounted a story in which he received an email from one of Doron’s former players saying how lucky the program was to have a coach of his caliber and character.

While the program will miss Lindsey, Benton believes the team is more than ready and excited to handle the workload that comes with a new coach.

After their first few meetings, Benton has said that Doron “knows the game well” and that he “will help elevate [the team’s] knowledge of the game and [their] volleyball IQ.”

“[Doron] is very much about getting as many reps as possible, correcting mistakes right after you make a mistake,” Benton said. “He likes to straight up play and get a lot of touches on the ball.”

Doron believes an Ivy League Championship is in reach, keeping in mind his own philosophy: “Learn how to learn, learn how to work, learn how to lead and then we can accomplish significant things.”