On Monday, April 19, Women's Hockey Coach Stacy Wilson announced her decision to resign in an off-season meeting with the team.
Her departure comes as a shock to the athletic department and to the players, who nevertheless support her decision to leave.
In an e-mail to the Orient, Wilson said, "there were a variety of personal considerations that led me to make this difficult decision," and did not further elaborate.
Wilson will return to her hometown of New Brunswick, Canada, and reported that she has no immediate plans to coach in the future.
"It has been an extremely fulfilling professional experience working with the women's ice hockey and golf teams," said Wilson. "I find the Bowdoin athletic department to be the most positive and supportive work environment that I have ever experienced."
Captain of the women's ice hockey team Shana Natelson '10 said that the team was given little warning of Wilson's decision.
"We were all pretty [blindsided] by this, I don't think anyone on the team really saw it coming," she said.
Co-captain Maria Nicolais '10 said, "the news caught the team by surprise, and although it does not make it any easier to see a coach we all cared a great deal about leave, we understand the reasons for her decision and wish her the best of luck."
Wilson expressed her hope that the team will continue to do well in the future.
"My hope for the ice hockey team is for them to experience the feeling of winning a Championship," she wrote. "I will be visiting to watch them play next season and I have a strong feeling that I will see some great individual progress and team victories."
As the team looks toward the future, team members expect to continue the same level of achievement throughout the summer training period and into the coming season.
"The team is already looking ahead to next season," said Natelson. "Coach Wilson will be sorely missed from the program, but the expectations of the team won't change. This is a very talented group and at the end of the day, we're still working for a NESCAC championship."
"This team is full of leaders and has three solid captains in place...they have and will continue to represent themselves, women's ice hockey and Bowdoin with class and pride," Wilson said.
According to Ward, the athletic department has already commenced its search for a new head coach.
"I've already gotten calls...I'm confident that we'll get a good replacement," Ward said.
He expressed hope that the new coach would be selected as soon as possible, and that candidates could be interviewed "while students are still here."
In Wilson's three seasons at Bowdoin, she has worked to improve team unity and performance, and is leaving with a record of 28-35-9.
Natelson said, "[Wilson's] knowledge and experience of the game are unparalleled...she made it a personal point to understand each of her players, as athletes and as individuals. When she came to the program three years ago, it was in a bit of a rebuilding phase, and in the past three years, she has molded a successful, winning team."
A press release from the athletic department reported that over the course of Wilson's tenure as coach, the team improved from just five wins in the 2007-2008 season to double-digit winning streaks in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons.
"Coach Wilson has a lot of experience playing the game herself, and she has passed on the skills, knowledge, and lessons she learned from her own years playing hockey to us...through her emphasis on working collectively toward a common goal, she helped make our seasons ones that we will always remember," said Nicolais.
Co-captain Katherine Pokrass '10 said, "everyone is keeping a positive outlook on the next season, and is fully motivated to continue the traditions and expectations Coach Wilson instilled in Bowdoin women's ice hockey."