The call came a few months after the Rams women’s hockey team was eliminated following a late-season charge to the playoffs.
Lisa Haley was named head coach of Canada’s U-18 women’s team in June.
“That was exciting news for me on many fronts and so, first of all, representing Canada is an honour and I’m very grateful of that opportunity,” she said. “Secondly, there are lots of benefits for me as a coach at Ryerson, as well. It’s an opportunity to work first-hand with some of the up-and-coming players who are still making their decisions as to where they want to go to university.”
The championship in St. Catharines, Ont. runs from Jan. 8 to Jan. 15. Haley will miss just three Ryerson club games while she’s at the tournament.
For her, the job is a perfect fit.
“It’ll definitely be business as usual. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team doesn’t miss a beat in my absence,” she said.
The Canadians won their first U-18 gold medal with Haley serving as assistant coach at the 2010 world championships in Chicago. Haley’s most recent national success was a gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics as an assistant coach in head coach Kevin Dineen’s staff.
Though Haley has been a head coach at the international level before, this will be her first national head coaching job at a tournament hosted in Canada.
“It’s an opportunity to play for a world championship. It’s also an opportunity to play for a championship on home soil,” she said. “I haven’t done that. I haven’t been behind the bench on our side of the border. I’m really excited for both of those.”
Haley is currently being tasked with assembling both the U-18 Canadian team and the Rams, though her main focus will remain on her duties at Ryerson.
“And that’s the fun part of coaching. All of those kids are coachable. It doesn’t matter if they’ve got a maple leaf or a Ram on the front of their jersey. I just get so much joy coaching either one,” she said.
Featured image courtesy of Jordan Mady / Ryersonian staff