Paul Mara, assistant coach of the United States’ women’s national team and former NHL defenseman, has been named the head coach of the Boston Pride.
From the league’s press release:
“To have the opportunity to coach these incredible athletes in the NWHL, and especially to do so with my hometown team, is a really exciting opportunity for me,” said Mara. “My experience coaching women’s hockey with the national program has been so fulfilling, and I can’t wait to get started at the pro level with the Pride. We’ll be an up-tempo team. I want my players to be creative offensively, and we’ll be responsible in our own end. I’m confident we’ll have a very successful team that’s also a lot of fun to play for and to watch.”
Mara succeeds Thomas Poeck, who was Boston’s first-year coach last season. Poeck’s team finished the 2017-18 season with an underwhelming record of 4-8-4. However, the Pride were able to take the Buffalo Beauts to overtime in the semifinals of the 2018 Isobel Cup Playoffs. Poeck decided to move on to focus on his own development program and his work with the Northern Cyclones of the USPHL.
If Mara can convince a few of the Pride’s Olympians to return, Boston could quickly bounce back to the team that they were in the NWHL’s first two seasons. Mara is the second member of Team USA’s coaching staff from PyeongChang to take a coaching position in the NWHL. Last week the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported that Robb Stauber would be a co-head coach of the Minnesota Whitecaps.
Mara is the third coach in Pride history. He played for the Boston Bruins, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Rangers, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, and Montreal Canadiens during his NHL career.