Joakim Flygh, who went to the NCAA Tournament five times as an assistant coach at Harvard and Minnesota-Duluth, was named Yale’s head women’s ice hockey coach on July 28, 2010. Flygh (whose name is pronounced YO-a-keem FLEEG) is the 10th coach in Yale women’s ice hockey history.
Under Flygh's leadership, Yale has made the ECAC Hockey tournament three times in the past four seasons. This past year's seniors, the Class of 2017, graduated with the seventh-most wins of any class in school history.
In 2014-15, Flygh led the Bulldogs to their best winning percentage in eight years, finishing with the second-most overall wins in school history (15). Yale also made its second straight ECAC Hockey Championship playoff appearance. The team tied the school record for wins in conference games with 12 and scored the second-most goals in a season in school history (93).
In 2013-14 the Bulldogs made their first ECAC Hockey Championship playoff appearance since 2008, and their first postseason win since 2005 (a 3-2 double overtime win at then-No. 5 Harvard Feb. 28 in game one of the quarterfinals). The Bulldogs eventually lost the series two games to one (including a double overtime loss in game two), falling one goal shy of the program's second appearance at the ECAC Hockey semifinals.
During Flygh's first seven years at Yale, the team has been honored in multiple ways both on and off the ice. Forward Eden Murray has earnd multiple selections to Hockey Canada's National Women's Development Team camp. Forward Phoebe Staenz '17, who won a bronze medal at the 2014 Olympics with Team Switzerland, earned multiple Rookie of the Year honors in 2013-14 and was a first team All-Ivy League honoree in 2016-17. Goaltender Jaimie Leonoff '15 was a second team All-Ivy League selection in 2012-13, and earned a spot at Hockey Canada's National Women's Program goaltending camp in June of 2013. Goaltender Jackee Snikeris '11 was a first team All-ECAC Hockey honoree and ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Year in 2010-11, and was selected to USA Hockey's annual Warren Strelow Goaltending Camp for the fourth straight time in 2011.
Yale has also had a Hockey Humanitarian Award finalist in each of Flygh's first three seasons, and Aleca Hughes '12 won the award in 2012. Additionally, the team has had three different players win the Sarah Devens Award, a joint award for leadership that includes both ECAC Hockey and Hockey East: Snikeris in 2011, Hughes in 2012 and Alyssa Zupon '13 in 2013.
As a team, Yale was named the Dave Solomon Memorial Sports Persons of the Year by the New Haven Register for 2011. The award honored the Bulldogs for their community service efforts, including the annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive at Yale (held in memory of Mandi Schwartz '10 (1988-2011) and her battle with cancer) and "Yale Bulldog PAWS (Pediatric Alliance With Student-athletes)", a program started by Zupon that pairs Yale athletic teams with pediatric patients from Yale-New Haven Hospital to serve as a support group.
The team has also received multiple academic honors during Flygh's tenure. In every season he has been here the team has had at least 16 ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team selections, including a league-best 19 in 2010-11. The team also had five Academic All-Ivy League selections in his first seven years: Snikeris in 2010-11, Zupon in 2012-13, Tara Tomimoto '13 in 2013-14, Leonoff in 2014-15 and Janelle Ferrara '16 in 2015-16.
Flygh’s nine-year career as an assistant coach prior to coming to Yale was marked by consistent success; teams he coached for had a combined winning percentage of .701 (176-69-21) and he was a part of six seasons of 20 or more wins. Flygh came to Yale after three seasons as an assistant at Harvard. There, he helped the Crimson to a 71-20-8 overall record, two NCAA tournament appearances, two ECAC Hockey regular season championships, two Beanpot tournament championships and one ECAC Hockey tournament championship. He was a part of Harvard’s perfect 22-0-0 ECAC Hockey regular season in 2007-08, the same year the Crimson advanced to the NCAA’s Frozen Four.
Flygh had a pair of stints leading Harvard while head coach Katey Stone was away coaching for USA Hockey. The Crimson went 4-0-1 in those games. His primary coaching responsibilities included working with the defense and the penalty-killing unit. Harvard was ranked in the top four in the country in scoring defense each year that Flygh was there, and led the nation in that category in 2007-08 (1.00 goals per game). Harvard was also ranked in the top six in penalty killing each year that Flygh was there.
At his two recent assistant coaching stops, Flygh worked with two of the top coaches in career victories in the NCAA in Stone and UMD's Shannon Miller. He helped coach seven All-Americans and a Patty Kazmaier Award winner.
Flygh served as an assistant coach at Minnesota-Duluth for three seasons, working with the defense and penalty killing unit. The Bulldogs made the NCAA tournament every year that he was there. They advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four championship game in 2007 and posted an overall record of 72-26-9.
During Flygh’s tenure, UMD ranked fourth nationally in goals allowed per game and third in penalty killing. During his first season in 2004-05, the UMD penalty kill unit allowed just 16 goals in 206 power plays, leading the country with a 92.2-percent efficiency.
Flygh began his coaching career at his alma mater, New England College, as a graduate assistant with the men’s ice hockey team in 2001-02. He helped the Pilgrims to a 53-23-4 record and three second-place finishes in three seasons before moving on to Minnesota-Duluth.
As a player for New England, Flygh was the Pilgrims’ defensive player of the year. He went on to play professional hockey in Sweden for the Lysekil Vikings.
Flygh has been active in international hockey, coaching at the IIHF Women's World Championship for Sweden in 2012 and 2013. He was also on Sweden's staff for the 4 Nations Tournament in December of 2012.
A native of Tyringe, Sweden, Flygh graduated from New England College with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 2000. He earned a master’s degree in organizational management from New England in 2002. He is married to Angela Francisco Flygh, a 2001 Harvard graduate and former Crimson women’s ice hockey captain. They have two children.
updated June 14, 2017