Head Coach of the women’s ice hockey team, Marissa O’Neil is taking the reins from the former Head Coach, Gerry Caron who ismoving to  the position of assistant coach due to personal reasons. 

Interim Director of Athletics Tim Ryan approached O’Neil about assuming the position when Caron said he would be unable to commit the time necessary to be the leader of the women’s golf program, which he has grown and developed for several years. The women’s golf team finished first in two tournaments last year and three the year before.

O’Neil, who graduated from Bowdoin in 2005, was an outstanding athlete in her own right. recieving the Lucy L. Shulman Award, an honor given to Bowdoin’s most outstanding female athlete each year. She played golf as a teenager, but at Bowdoin focused her attention on field hockey and ice hockey, which she greatly excelled at. 

“Had golf been in the spring when I was at Bowdoin, I probably would have played but because I played field hockey and [ice] hockey, I didn’t have the opportunity. When I had time in the spring and summer [golf] is what I spent most of my time doing,” said O’Neil. 

Ryan predicts that despite his title change, that Caron will still be very involved with the women’s golf program. 

“We’re able to have the best of both worlds in this situation where we have somebody who’s on staff and here on a daily basis,” said Ryan. “And we have [Caron] who is going to continue to work with the team in an assistant role and provide a lot of the skill-specific instruction the women will look for while having [O’Neil] on campus as a resource.” 

Ryan also noted that there are several NESCAC schools with golf coaches who are involved in other sports in some degree.

While O’Neil will still be coaching the women’s ice hockey team, she does not believe it will be difficult to conduct both roles simultaneously. She points to the fact that the sports are in different seasons and that NCAA rules prescribe significant limits to coach involvement in offseason training. 

Despite a somewhat unusual coaching situation, O’Neil looks forward to the coming season and especially to the possibility of bringing her team mentality from coaching hockey to a sport that, while still team-oriented, is much more individualized. 

“I’m very excited to be working with these women,” said O’Neil. Caron could not be reached for comment.