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St. Scholastica

Vasichek named new St. Scholastica women’s hockey coach

Jackie MacMillan (left) and Julianne Vasichek. St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica’s only intercollegiate head women’s hockey coach, Jackie MacMillan, announced her resignation on Monday to pursue other opportunities. Assistant Julianne Vasichek has been promoted to replace MacMillan as the program’s next head coach.

In 11 seasons behind the bench, MacMillan’s Saints squads recorded 149 victories and the 2020-21 team captured the school’s only Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) regular season title this spring. The Saints made the NCHA Championship game each of the last three seasons with MacMillan earning NCHA Coach of the Year honors two of those years in 2019 and 2021. Her teams won less than 11 games in a season just twice in her 11 seasons.

“The Saints women’s hockey program is a reflection of Jackie’s vision, creativity, and hard work for the last 11 years,” said Vasichek. “She built this program from the beginning and the trends of success in the form of All-Americans, consistent appearances in the NCHA title games and most importantly graduation rates are all reflections of Jackie’s character and the types of people she has recruited to come play at The College of St. Scholastica. We will miss her presence as an accomplished and capable leader of women. Personally, I will miss my colleague and long-time friend who has helped empower me particularly these last five years.”

MacMillan coached a total of four American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) All-Americans and two NCHA Players of the Year. MacMillan recruited and coached the school’s first-ever four-time NCAA All-American in Nina Waidacher from 2011-15. Waidacher was also the school’s first-ever Olympic medalist, taking bronze with Team Switzerland at the 2014 Sochi Games.

“It was with a heavy heart that I had to accept Jackie’s resignation,” said Interim Director of Athletics Merissa Edwards. “Jackie is the founder and the foundation of the Saints Women’s Hockey program. Her hard work, dedication to the program and her athletes are what has built this into a high caliber program. I wish her only the best and will always welcome her home. I look forward to seeing where this team will go. Julianne not only has been mentored and empowered by Jackie, but she also has the experience and knowledge to continue to elevate this program to postseason success.”

Vasichek has been with the CSS women’s hockey program each of the last five seasons, including the last two years as a full-time assistant.

The Great Falls, Montana native played defenseman for the University of Minnesota Duluth from 2001-05. She was a member of the 2002 and 2003 UMD National Championship teams. Vasichek earned Second Team All-America accolades in 2004 and 2005 and was part of the 2003-04 U.S. National Team.

Prior to CSS, Vasichek was a staff member on the 2010 UMD National Championship team and was an assistant coach for one season at Bowdoin College (Maine).

“I will work hard to guide the women’s hockey program in the direction that continues to uplift young women towards reaching their potential,” said Vasichek. “We have a group of leaders eager to continue raising the bar for the program and a team capable of reaching it. This is a bittersweet moment and I just want to acknowledge all the hard work Jackie has put in to create the special environment that is the CSS Women’s Ice Hockey Team.”

The Saints are coming off a 14-2 record during COVID-shortened 2020-21 season. The Saints are expected to have just about everyone back this upcoming season as the program transitions to the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). The 2021-22 season opener will be November 2 against Bridge Rival University of Wisconsin-Superior at Mars Lakeview Arena.

A press conference to formally introduce Vasichek as the school’s next head coach will take place at a later date.

Published in Sports St. Scholastica

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