CALGARY – Dan Church has resigned as head coach of Canada’s women’s national team two months before the Olympic Winter Games.
“Heartbroken” was the description Church sent out on Twitter. He resigned as head coach for personal reasons, Hockey Canada announced on Thursday.
As a head coach, Church led the team to a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship and to a silver medal last spring. Church also won gold as a head coach at the 2010 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship.
Danielle Goyette and Lisa Haley, who most recently worked as assistant coaches with Church, were named interim co-coaches for the immediate future.
“Hockey Canada would like to thank Dan for his great work with Canada’s National Women’s Program not only this year, but over a number of years,” said Scott Smith, Hockey Canada’s chief operating officer. “I would like to wish him well in his future endeavours.”
“We understand that this was a very difficult decision for Dan,” said Melody Davidson, general manager of female national teams. “We are certainly very appreciative that he came to this conclusion with the best interests of the team in mind.”
“I would like to thank Hockey Canada for the opportunity to reach my goal of coaching and winning gold at the international level,” said Church. “I wish the players and staff all the best going forward. I have understood from the beginning of this process that winning gold in Sochi was this team’s only focus. I believe that stepping aside for personal reasons at this time will help the team achieve its goal.”
– with files from Hockey Canada