Head Coach Announces Resignation
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After eight seasons as Yale's women's ice hockey head coach, Hilary Witt has announced that she is resigning to pursue other interests. Witt, the Bulldogs' all-time leader in wins, will remain in her current role until June 30 as Yale transitions to a new head coach. A national search is underway to find her successor.
“I am proud of what we were able to accomplish during my time at Yale,” Witt said. “I would like to thank all the student-athletes, assistant coaches and athletic department staff members that I had the opportunity to work with here. Yale is a very special place, and I have greatly appreciated being a part of this program.”
Witt, a native of Canton, Mass., led Yale to 96 wins and six ECAC Hockey playoff appearances. She joined the Bulldogs as an assistant coach in 2001-02 and was promoted to head coach the following season. She was named ECAC Women's Coach of the Year in 2002-03, the first of three straight seasons in which the Bulldogs broke the school record for conference wins. The 2004-05 squad set the school record for overall wins (16) and conference wins (12), earning a trip to the ECAC semifinals for the first time. The 2007-08 team broke the school record for goals with 96. The 2009-10 season was highlighted by the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink in January, the culmination of a major renovation of Yale hockey's historic home.
“All of us at Yale would like to thank Hilary Witt for the work she has done for Yale women's hockey,” said Tom Beckett, Yale's Director of Athletics. “Under her leadership, the program achieved many significant milestones. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors, and we are glad that she is remaining in her current role through June as we transition to a new coach.”
During Witt's time Yale had three NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge selections, three NEHWA Division I All-Star team selections, one first team All-ECAC selection, three second team All-ECAC selections and three ECAC All-Rookie selections. In 2007-08, the team earned the ECAC's Turfer Award for sportsmanship.
The Bulldogs also maintained a standard of academic excellence under Witt, including a school-record 21 ECAC Hockey All-Academic honorees in 2008-09. During her tenure the Bulldogs also had three finalists for the ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year Award, and they had an Academic All-Ivy League selection in each of the last six years. Yale had a strong record of community service as well, highlighted by the marrow donor testing drives the Bulldogs held the past two years in support of junior forward Mandi Schwartz, who is currently battling leukemia and in need of a donor. Yale broke its own record with more than 900 registrants at the drive this past spring.
Witt, who played for the U.S. Women's National Team in 2001, also helped expand Yale's presence on the international hockey level. She earned silver medals as an assistant coach for the U.S. at the 2006 Four Nations Cup and the 2007 IIHF World Championship. She coached a pair of Olympians at Yale.
A 2001 graduate of Northeastern and a member of the Huskies' Hall of Fame, Witt was a three-time finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award as the best player in women's college hockey. A communications major at Northeastern, Witt graduated from Canton (Mass.) High School in 1996. She is a member of the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame earlier this year.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity