The Minnesota Whitecaps finally have an official coaching staff.
Ronda (Curtin) Engelhardt, a former University of Minnesota and original Whitecaps player, will be the team’s co-head coach. She’ll coach alongside Whitecaps founder Jack Brodt. Laura Slominski, another Gopher and Whitecaps alumna, will be an assistant coach.
From the press release:
“I’m humbled to be a part of the Whitecaps, and I want to extend big thanks to all the people involved in getting the NWHL off the ground and giving players a place to play after college,” said Engelhardt. “I’m excited for the opportunity to coach the Whitecaps and help lead a talented group. It will be important to build chemistry while maximizing each player’s skill set to best impact our team success. I’m looking forward to getting on the ice with the team and seeing what style works best for us.”
Both Engelhardt and Slominski have been coaching local high schools for the last few years. Brodt has been a co-coach or head coach with the Whitecaps since its inception in 2004.
Engelhardt and Slominski were teammates at Minnesota from 2000 to 2002. They were both Patty Kazmaier finalists in 2002. They also played together in the Whitecaps inaugural season.
“Ronda and Laura were great players for the Whitecaps in our very first season, and I’m proud to be working with such great hockey minds,” said Brodt, in the press release. “The three of us are committed to building a team that Minnesota can be proud of – an exciting team that will contend for the Isobel Cup.”
This official announcement comes after a report in May by the Pioneer Press (which we reported off) that USA coach Robb Stauber and Shivaun, his wife, were set to be the Whitecaps’ co-head coaches. According to the Star Tribune, the Staubers “decided not to take the job.’’