Today, the Boston Pride extended head coach Paul Mara and general manager Karilyn Pilch with multi-year contracts. This marks the first time that either a head coach or a general manager have received more than a one-year contract from an NWHL team.
Of course, it should be noted that the Boston Pride are the only privately owned team in the NWHL. Miles Arnone became the owner of the Pride on Sep. 18, 2019. Boston is also the only team in the league with a president — former NWHL Deputy Commissioner Hayley Moore.
Pilch became the general manager of the Pride on July 22, 2019. She spent three seasons at Boston University as the Director of Hockey Operations before becoming the second GM in franchise history — Moore was the first. Pilch, 34, was a goalie at BU during her collegiate career and is a New Hampshire native.
“After a season of being inspired and motivated by the performance of our players and staff, and witnessing the passion of our fans, I am thrilled to resume my role as GM of the Pride,” said Pilch in the league’s press release. “Our organization has great expectations for the future. It is an honor for me to continue to work in professional women’s hockey in the city of Boston, and Paul and I welcome the challenge of building a Cup contender.”
The 2020-21 season will be Mara’s third behind the bench with Boston. He turns 41 in September. The former assistant coach of the United States women’s national team and NHL defenseman is the NWHL’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 34-6-0. Mara and former Pride head coach Bobby Jay (30) are the only two head coaches to win 30 games in the NWHL.
“I believe in the Boston Pride, the NWHL, all of the players, and everyone advancing women’s hockey in our rising professional league,” said Mara in the league’s release. “I am committed to continuing to build our Pride into a perennial Isobel Cup contender and a team everyone in the Boston community is proud to support.”
Under Pilch and Mara, the Pride became regular season champions for the first time since the 2016-17 and for the third time in franchise history. Mara’s coaching staff this year included Heath Gordon and former Pride defender Marissa Gedman.