Nicole Betker, University of Saskatchewan
SASKATOON - University of Saskatchewan Huskie women’s hockey head coach Steve Kook will be taking his professional leave of absence during the 2016-17 season.
Taking over the Huskies as the interim head coach will be Robin Ulrich. Ulrich was an assistant coach with the Huskies for five seasons and played five years with the squad. Scott Dutertre and Brian McGregor will continue with the team in the roles of assistant coaches. Sheldon Goertzen returns as goaltending coach and Dave Westbury will return as video Coach.
“I’m extremely thankful and honoured to have the opportunity to return to the program,” said Ulrich. “It has always been a dream of mine to coach at the university level and I couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to do that with the Huskies. I’m looking forward to continuing to build the program and help our players be successful on the ice, in the classroom and in the community. We have a young team and I can’t wait to get to the rink and start working with them.”
Ulrich spent five seasons in a Huskies uniform from 2004 to 2009. The former defenceman and team captain was named a Canada West First Team All-Star and won the conference student-athlete community award. As a member of the coaching staff, Ulrich helped guide the Huskies to their first-ever Canada West Championship and a bronze medal at the CIS Championship in 2013-14. She has spent the last two years as a high school physical education teacher at Lampman School, as well as filled the school’s athletic director role. Ulrich has also coached with the Saskatchewan U18 team and taught skills and power skating for minor hockey.
“Robin has been involved with our program for the past 12 years either as a player, coach or alumnus,” said Kook. “She has coached at the CIS level, club level and most recently at a High Performance level. This opportunity will provide Robin with a tremendous experience should she decide coaching as a career is in her future.”
During the leave, Kook will take time for professional development opportunities in coaching, as well as work with the Under-18 Team Saskatchewan. Since becoming the first-ever full-time women’s hockey head coach at the UofS, Kook has been twice named CIS Coach of the Year. He has guided the Huskies to the playoffs in the last eight of nine seasons.
Ulrich will begin her interim head coach position on August 1.