CALGARY, AB -- Melody Davidson, of Calgary AB, has been named head coach of Canada's National Women's Hockey Team for the 1999-2000 season, and Julie Healy, of Verdun QC, has been named head coach of the National Women's Under 22 Team, Canadian Hockey Association vice-president, hockey Tom Renney announced Monday.
Davidson, 35, was the head coach of the National Under-22 Women's Team in 1998-99 which won the gold medal at the Christmas Cup in Unna, Germany in 1998. Davidson is also the women's hockey coach at Connecticut College.
"This is quite an honor for me," said Davidson. "My experience with the National Under 22 Team and previous National teams has prepared me for this challenge. I now look forward to working with the National Women's Team, especially given the fact that the World Championship is in Canada next year."
Davidson replaces Daniéle Sauvageau, the National Women's Team head coach in 1998-99, who has been asked to take on a supporting role with the Women's High Performance program. Sauvageau, a leading candidate to coach Canada's entry in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, has been asked to give technical support to both National Teams in the coming year as well as assisting the General Manager of Female High Performance, Ga‘tan Robitaille, with player identification and evaluation. The CHA plans to announce the 2002 Olympic coaching staff in May, 2000.
"The key to our high performance success has been providing Canadian coaches with the opportunity to apply their skills in high performance competition," said Tom Renney, Vice-president, Hockey at the Canadian Hockey Association. "Knowing Daniéle can do this allows us the ability to give another coach the same opportunity. Based on her performance with the Canadian Women's Team last year, Daniéle has set a standard for others to match which bodes well for her in the future."
Renney also named the assistant coaches for the National Women's Team: Karen Hughes, an assistant coach with the National Women's Team in 1998-99 and Wally Kozak, coach with the Oval X-treme of Calgary, finalists at the 1999 Esso National Women's hockey championship. Hughes is also head coach of the University of Toronto's women's hockey team.
Ken Dufton, an assistant coach with the National Women's Team in 1998-99, has also been asked continue in a support role in the High Performance program, assisting in player evaluation.
The coaches will conduct an evaluation camp for the National Women's Team this fall and get together for a pre-competition camp and tournament in early 2000 in preparation for the sixth Women's World Championship in Mississauga, ON in April 2000.
Renney also announced that Julie Healy, head coach of team Québec, champions at the 1999 Esso National Women's Hockey Championship, has been named as head coach of the National Women's Under 22 Team. Healy, 41, was an assistant coach with the National Under-22 Team in 1998-99 and is currently an assistant coach of the women's hockey team at Concordia University.
"I'm looking forward to the challenges of the next year with the Under-22 team," said Julie Healy. "I have really enjoyed my involvement with the CHA's Women's High Performance Program since 1995, and being a part of developping our National Team's players."
Healy's assistant coaches will be Nancy Wilson, who was the head coach of the British Columbia women's hockey team at the 1999 Canada Winter Games and Bill Bowker, head coach of Ontario's gold medal-winning women's team at the 1999 Canada Winter Games.The Under-22 team will hold a NIKE High Performance camp this summer.
"These are all outstanding coaches who we expect to enhance our female high performance programs tremendously," said Renney. "All have been involved with the Canadian Hockey Association, in different ways, for several years."