Friday, May 17th
NORTHFIELD, Vt. -- Sophie Leclerc, a former All-American as a player at Norwich, has been named the new head coach of the Cadets women's hockey program.
The Barre native and standout star at Spaulding High School returns to Northfield after spending the last four years as an assistant coach at Division One Colgate and replaces her former coach, Mark Bolding, who left Norwich last month to become the head coach at Yale.
While on the bench at Colgate, Leclerc helped lead a total turnaround for the program, going 101-36-1 in those four seasons, and making the program's first ever appearance in the NCAA National Championship game in 2018 while winning a program record 34 games. Prior to Leclerc's arrival at Colgate, the Raiders had never had a 20-win season and their best win total in the previous five seasons was 11.
As a player, Leclerc was a four-year standout at Norwich, helping build the program from the ground up as a player on the inaugural varsity team in 2007-08. She went on to cap her playing career by guiding Norwich to its first national championship in 2011. Leclerc still ranks as the all-time program assists leader and is ranks second in career points and third in goals.
After graduation and a one year stint as head coach at Kimball Union Academy, Leclerc returned to Norwich as an assistant coach under Bolding for two seasons before taking the job at Colgate.
At Monday's introductory press conference, Leclerc talked about how her time spent at Norwich as a player will be a big asset as she now takes over the program she helped lead to its first national title.
"I'm extremely fortunate to have had that opportunity because it's real.", said Leclerc. "Sometimes there are different adversities that come along, might be the same, might be different, but to be able to look at someone in the eyes and say 'I've been there', and you truly mean it deep down, is a connection that not too many people can say they've had. And for me, it's a big reason why I feel like we're going to be able to do something special here."