Earlier today, the Princeton women’s hockey team announced that Courtney Birchard-Kessel would be joining the staff for this upcoming season as an assistant coach.
Last season, Birchard-Kessel coached the Toronto Furies to the Clarkson Cup semifinals in the league’s last season—and her first as head coach—and was one of three finalists for the CWHL’s Coach of the Year award. She was also an assistant coach with Team Canada’s U18 women’s team last year, which won the 2019 U18 Women’s World Championships 3-2 in overtime over Team USA.
In Princeton’s press release, Birchard-Kessel explains that she met Princeton’s head coach, Cara Morey, while trying out for Canada’s national team. “I knew from that moment that she was someone I would one day love to coach with,” Birchard-Kessel said.
Birchard-Kessel played 4 years of NCAA Division I hockey with the University of New Hampshire, finishing her career with 73 points in 110 games. She spent five years in the CWHL as a player with the Brampton Thunder. She finished her playing career in the top tier Slovakian women’s league and the SDHL before returning to the CWHL to coach. She also has two World Championship silver medals and a World Championship gold medal as a member of Team Canada’s senior national team.