The Buffalo Beauts have begun their offseason by making a big change.
Associate head coach Rhea Coad was announced Tuesday morning as the Beauts’ new bench boss ahead of Year Seven. She replaces Pete Perram, who is relocating to Western Canada with his family after two seasons with Buffalo. Perram coached the Beauts to a 7-19-2 record during his tenure.
Coad, who joined the Beauts as assistant back in 2018, is Buffalo’s second female head coach in franchise history after Shelley Looney coached the inaugural team in 2015-2016. She is also the fourth female head coach in NWHL history, joining Looney, Heather Linstad (Connecticut), and Digit Murphy (Toronto).
Coad had this to say about the opportunity in the league’s press release:
“I am extremely honored to be leading such an amazing group of young women and I am beyond excited to get back on the ice with everyone in preparation for the NWHL’s seventh season. I look forward to continuing to grow our family culture and building strong relationships with each member of our team.”
She certainly has gotten off to a good start with the most recent squad, with captain Taylor Accursi and goaltender Carly Jackson each speaking highly of their relationships with her in the press release. Both stated they expect to return for 2021-22 with her at the helm.
In addition to her duties with the Beauts, Coad had been a part of the coaching staff at Nazareth College in Rochester, but she now is focused on building up the Beauts to their fullest potential.
The coaching change is a bittersweet but a welcome one in the wake of a playoff miss for the Beauts for the second season in a row, as they continue to rebuild their on-ice product. As Coad and general manager Nate Oliver have already begun to work on scouting and retaining for the upcoming season’s roster, we should definitely look forward to what 2022 will bring for this young squad.