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February 22, 2017 | Hockey (W)

Julie Chu on the Stingers' bench.Julie Chu on the Stingers' bench.

Julie Chu named women's hockey Coach of the Year

In her first season officially at the helm of the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey program, Julie Chu has been named the RSEQ Coach of the Year.

After serving as the interim head coach in 2015-16, she was officially handed the reins of the Stingers women’s hockey team in June of 2016.

The first half of the 2016-17 season started slowly as Chu gradually put her systems and philosophy in place. At the holiday break the Stingers had a 3-6-1 record.

But in the second half, they rolled up an impressive 7-3 record to finish in third place with a 10-9-1 record and 21 points. This was a vast improvement from their 6-12-2 fourth-place finish and 14 points the previous season.

Chu has assembled an exceptional staff that all contributed to the team’s success and the RSEQ honour. The group includes: assistant coaches Mike McGrath, Karell Émard, Caroline Ouellette, Laurianne Rougeau, Dave Singh and Alex Petizian, mentor Les Lawton and equipment manager Andrew Davis.

Originally from Fairfield, Conn., Chu came to Concordia with an impressive hockey résumé from her time as a student-athlete at Harvard University and as an Olympian with Team USA.

Chu has built her coaching résumé since she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. She was an assistant coach for University of Minnesota Duluth and helped the Bulldogs win their fourth NCAA Division I national championship in 2008. She was also an assistant at Union College from 2010 to 2013. She joined the Stingers as an assistant coach in 2014.

Chu and the Stingers face the Montréal Carabins in the RSEQ semifinals. It’s a best-of-three series beginning Thursday night at 7 p.m. on the road. Game 2 is at Concordia’s Ed Meagher Arena on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Game 3 if necessary is at Montreal on Sunday at 2 p.m.