The University of Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey program will welcome back a familiar face to AMSOIL Arena next season with the addition of former Canadian Olympic head coach Laura Schuler as an assistant coach in 2021-22.
Schuler, an advisor to the Quinnipiac University women’s hockey coaching staff during the 2020-21 season, will bring with her an extensive resume of coaching and playing experience with Hockey Canada, as well as a college coaching career that has spanned over two decades.
“It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Laura and her family back to Duluth,” said UMD head coach Maura Crowell. “She is an elite hockey mind, talented recruiter, and proven coach at the highest level of women’s hockey. Her experience as both an Olympic player (1998) and Olympic head coach (2018) with Team Canada will be invaluable to our players and staff. She has already helped bring a national championship to Duluth (2010) and we feel we have really hit the jackpot as we add her to our staff.”
As a player, Schuler competed for Hockey Canada after her collegiate career at Northeastern. She won three gold medals at the World Championships in 1990, 1992 and 1997, two gold medals at the Pacific Rim Championships in 1995 and 1996 and two gold and a silver at the Three Nations Cup in 1996, 1997 and 1999. She was also a member of the 1998 Canadian Olympic team and won a silver medal at the Winter Games.
She began her coaching career in 2001 as the head coach of UMass Boston and later at her alma mater of Northeastern from 2004-2008. Schuler became an assistant coach for the Bulldogs in 2008 and, over seven seasons, helped lead UMD to three NCAA Tournament berths, as well as an NCAA title in 2010. She then spent three seasons at the helm of Dartmouth College (2016-2020), with a one-year sabbatical during her tenure to guide the Canadian national team in the 2018 Olympics.
Schuler was named the head coach of the Canadian National Women’s Hockey team during the 2015-16 season and again for the 2016-17 season. She would later lead the national women’s team to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang. Schuler and Team Canada went on to face the United States in the gold medal game; the U.S. would capture the gold medal in a thrilling 3-2 shootout win, and Canada took home the silver medal.
The Scarborough, Ontario native was also a Development Camp coach for Hockey Canada for five years (2008-13), an assistant with the National Women’s Team (2010-11), head coach of the U22 National Women’s Team (2011-12), assistant of the U18 National Team (2012-13) and head coach of the U18 National Team (2013-14).
“I am thrilled to be back in Duluth as part of one of the premier programs in women’s hockey,” said Schuler. “I have really enjoyed getting to know both Maura and Laura over the past few years and admire the work they have done. It was great to see UMD return to the Frozen Four this past season. I look forward to working closely with them both. My wife and I are also excited to be back near friends and family in the Duluth area. I can’t wait to get started soon at a place I already consider home.”