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As a young kid, Lisa Haley found herself playing road hockey in the backyard with her two older brothers, describing it as a natural fit for her.
The Ryerson Rams’ first women’s hockey coach has come a long way from those days. She’s leaving Ryerson University for Sochi, Russia, where she will be the assistant coach for the Canadian national senior women’s hockey team at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Haley played hockey for five years at Concordia University before making the transition from hockey player to coach after she finished school.
Her career began in her hometown of Halifax, where she got involved with a club team that flourished into a varsity team – Saint Mary’s University Huskies.
She was excited to do it all again when Ryerson’s women’s hockey team formed in 2011.
Haley helped the women’s team record its first-ever Ontario University Athletics conference victory on Oct. 15, 2011.
“We are a young program and we have to enjoy ourselves through the early years of building the program to a level that we can compete nationally,” says Haley.
Haley is leaving the hockey team in good hands with interim coach Pierre Alain. They have been colleagues for nearly a decade.
“We go back eight or nine years with Hockey Canada, we’ve coached at some world championships together, enjoyed some gold medals,” says Haley.
Haley says she has a lot of respect for the way Alain coaches the game and believes the passion and the fun he brings to the game will be well-received by the team this season.
The Ryerson Rams take to the ice on Sept. 20 against the University of Massachusetts at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on September 18, 2013.