URI women’s hockey coach earns top national honor for second time

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KINGSTON, R.I. – June 3, 2008 – University of Rhode Island women’s hockey coach Beth McCann of Westerly has been named the 2008 American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Women’s Division 1 Coach-of-the-Year.

This marks the second time the association has named McCann coach-of-the-year. She was first honored in 2005.

McCann was presented the award at the American Hockey Coaches celebration in April at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Naples, Fla.

“This year’s award was very special, because I was nominated by my three captains, Chelsea Skorupski, Lynn Picci, and Ashley Pagliarini,” McCann said. “It was heartwarming to have the support of these young women and to be part of their overall collegiate experience, the academic successes, and the hockey achievements.

“We have great balance in our program; about 75 percent of our players maintain a 3.0 grade point average while playing 32 games a season,” the coach said. “To get an honor like this, many things have to come together, the chemistry of players and the willingness of players and coaches to work together. I couldn’t become coach of the year without special players being behind me.”

URI was ranked number one in the East Region the entire season. The Rams entered the 2008 ACHA Women’s Division 1 National Tournament undefeated at 22-0-2 and were seeded second. The team eventually finished third, defeating the University of Massachusetts in the consolation final, and ended the season with an overall record of 26-1-2.

McCann began her college coaching career in 1999, forming URI’s first women’s ice hockey team. The 2007-2008 season was her ninth at the helm for the Rams. McCann’s overall coaching record is 176-69-12.

Since the 2003-2004 season, McCann has led her team to five consecutive ACHA Women’s Division 1 National Tournament Final Four appearances and five consecutive Eastern Collegiate Women’s Hockey League Championships.

McCann continues to build a solid foundation and a competitive forum for women’s ice hockey, which is a non-varsity program at URI.

McCann is a native Rhode Islander and lives in Westerly with her husband, Tracy and their three daughters, Murphy, Tracy and Madison.