Sept. 27, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Last December, sophomore defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) became the first Yale player to earn a spot on an Olympic team roster when she made Team USA. Now Resor's coach at Yale, Hilary Witt, will add to the Bulldogs' presence on the international hockey scene. Witt has been named an assistant coach for the 2006 U.S. Women's Select Team that will compete in the Four Nations Cup from Nov. 7-11 in Kitchener, Ont.
Witt, who will be making her international USA Hockey coaching debut, is entering her sixth season at Yale and fifth as head coach. The winningest coach in Yale history, Witt's 2004-05 squad set the school record for overall wins (16) and conference wins (12), and made an appearance in the ECACHL semifinals for the first time. Further, she was the ECACHL Women's Coach of the Year in 2002-03. In the last two years, Witt expanded her coaching experience to include USA Hockey Player Development Camps, as she coached at the Girls' Select 17/18 and 14 levels.
As a player, Witt spent time with the U.S. Women's National Team during the 2000-01 season and played on the 2000 U.S. Women's Select Team at the Four Nations Cup. She is a 2001 graduate of Northeastern University and a member of the Huskies' Hall of Fame. After leading the team in scoring in three of her four seasons, Witt finished her career as Northeastern's all-time leader in goals and points (113-94-207). In addition, she was a three-time finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, presented annually to the top player in NCAA Div. I women's ice hockey.
Witt is a native of Canton, Mass. and currently resides in Hamden, Conn.
Yale coaches have an extensive history of involvement with USA Hockey. Former Bulldog men's coach Tim Taylor (who coached at Yale from 1976 through 2006) served as head coach of the U.S. men's team at the 1994 Olympics and was an assistant coach in 1984. Current men's head coach Keith Allain, a 1980 Yale graduate, was an assistant coach with the U.S. men's team at the 2006 Olympics. Ben Smith, a former assistant men's coach at Yale under Taylor, served as head coach of the U.S. women's team from 1996 through the 2006 Olympics. Smith led the U.S. to a gold medal at the 1998 Nagano games, the first year women's hockey was a medal sport.
Among the other Yale coaches associated with the U.S. women's team are Mike Gilligan (assistant men's coach at Yale under Taylor, assistant coach with the U.S. women from 2003-2006) and John Marchetti (assistant coach with the U.S. women in 1994, head women's coach at Yale from 1997-2002).
The Four Nations Cup has been a staple of international women's hockey since 1996. The event features the top four teams in the world: Canada, the USA, Sweden and Finland. Team USA will open play on Tues., Nov. 7, against Canada at 7:30 p.m. EST at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex. The United States has earned either the gold or silver medal in each of the nine years it has competed in the Four Nations Cup (Three Nations Cup from 1996-99), including back-to-back silver medals in 2004 and 2005.
Mark Johnson, the head women's ice hockey coach at reigning national champion University of Wisconsin, will serve as the head coach. Erin Whitten Hamlen, associate head women's ice hockey coach at the University of New Hampshire, is the other assistant coach.
The roster for the 2006 U.S. Women's Select Team will be named in October.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity