Tag Archives: Katie Zimmerman

Catching Up With Katie Zimmerman (Western New England Women’s Ice Hockey)

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Katie Zimmerman was named earlier this month the first coach of the Western New England women’s ice hockey program, which is scheduled to begin competition in 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Diana McNamara)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Katie Zimmerman seems very excited to coach the first Western New England women’s ice hockey team, which is scheduled to play its first contest during the 2020-21 school year.

“Being able to start my own program at the college level is very, very special,” said Zimmerman, who arrives in Springfield after assisting the Amherst College women’s ice hockey team since the 2014-15 season.

“I have categorized it as a life experience (because) it is going to be both exciting and challenging, but also a full-circle feeling to build a program and help grow the game at the next level.”

Zimmerman was named the program’s initial coach earlier this month when the institution announced they would be adding a women’s ice hockey program.

A forward for the Hamilton College women’s ice hockey team, Zimmerman led the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in goals scored during her junior and senior seasons, while also earning a pair of all-league selections.

In addition to assisting coach Jeff Matthews at Amherst, Zimmerman has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Zimmerman to discuss her excitement for starting the women’s ice hockey program at Western New England.

On getting a startup program started: The very first thing to do is to make sure people know about the program. So, what I have done is introduce or reintroduce myself to former colleagues and coaches at both the youth and high-school level, as well as camp directors and advisors to educate them about this new program. I have let people know that this is an exciting opportunity, not just for myself, but for so many people that are going to be able to support it, including the first-ever student-athletes that will have a chance to write the first chapter of the program’s history. Besides spreading the news, it is also time to begin building relationships with prospective student-athletes, too.

I am really excited about this opportunity. I believe in this program, and I am looking for recruits who are just as excited as I am. 

On learning from prior startup women’s ice hockey programs: I do have contact with coaches that have started their own NCAA Division I and III programs, so it is very interesting to speak with them and learn how they got their programs started. There are so many interesting aspects of building an inaugural team.

On spreading the word of the new program to the entire country: The midwest and northeast are hockey hotbeds. Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Michigan are the three top states for girl’s hockey, so those are target areas, but I am casting a wide net for potential student-athletes that want to join our program. I have seen some impressive players come out of California, Colorado, and even Texas and Florida, so I am definitely spreading the news outside the northeast and making sure to focus on bringing in individuals that will set the tone for the program’s culture. I have been really lucky to chat with so many people that have provided me with ideas as to what I should do with recruiting, to the hockey x’s and o’s stuff as well, but it has been very helpful learning more about how my colleagues and coaching friends have started their respective programs.

On publicizing the news through social media: I recently launched a WNE women’s ice hockey Instagram account and plan to follow up with Twitter and Facebook soon. Social media is a primary mode of communication for so many people these days and I am excited to get some good content out there. 

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Katie Zimmerman competed for Hamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). (PHOTO COURTESY:


On falling in love with the sport of hockey: My love for hockey began in the driveway. I grew up on a street with many other young kids, and I would jump into street hockey games whenever I could. I loved ripping around the neighborhood on my roller blades that I had my seventh birthday party at an inline skating arena. I vividly remember going to the arena with my mom and seeing a roller hockey game being played, and I asked my mom if I could play. She signed me up on the spot. I was one of only two girls in the roller hockey league for three years before I transitioned to ice hockey at 10-years-old. I grew more and more serious about ice hockey as time went on, and my love for the sport only grew.

Some of my all-time best friends have been former teammates and many of my favorite moments revolve around hockey. And when I’m not coaching the sport, I’m a passionate follower of the National Hockey League (NHL) and a loyal Detroit Red Wings fan!

Some favorite memories of the game: I could write a book about my favorite memories. When I was a senior in high school I played for a team in Michigan called Victory Honda, and that year alone holds so many of my all-time favorite hockey memories. The best part of that year was that it felt like we were all best friends, both on and off the ice – I still keep in touch to this day) – which made every moment at the rink so much fun. I also had a blast playing in college, where every game-day felt like a holiday. 

Zimmerman’s all-time favorite hockey player: Pavel Datsyuk, who used to play for the Detroit Red Wings. His nickname was “The Magician” because he could do unimaginably creative things with the puck. I thought he was the most entertaining player to watch and a really strong two-way player, too. To this day, I’ve never seen another player that plays the game like he did. 


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ hockey coverage on Twitter by following @NoontimeHockey!

New England College Notebook: WNE Starts Women’s Ice Hockey, Nichols Names Linton Men’s Basketball Coach

NS NEW ENG COLL NOTEBOOK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

Just hours before the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues squared-off in the seventh game of the 2019 Stanley Cup FinalsWestern New England announced some exciting news that they would be adding women’s ice hockey, the school’s 20th varsity sport, during the 2020-21 school year.

The exciting news of the school adding women’s ice hockey was shared by Matt LaBranche, Western New England’s Director of Athletics, Recreational Sport & Physical Education, who looking forward to seeing the team compete in 2020.

“Interest at the high school and youth levels has never been higher, and we are proud to be providing a new opportunity for those young women to pursue their passion in a highly competitive collegiate program,” said LaBranche in Wednesday’s press release about the women’s ice hockey team.

LaBranche also announced the hiring of Katie Zimmerman, who becomes the first head coach in the program’s history. Zimmerman previously served as an assistant at nearby Amherst College and has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.

Zimmerman also played Division III hockey for Hamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

According to Wednesday’s release, Western New England will join 66 other colleges that sponsor women’s ice hockey at the Division III level.

Nichols College announced on Thursday that Brandon Linton has been named the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.

Linton replaces Scott Faucher, who guided the Bison to 28-3 record this past winter, including an appearance in the NCAA Division III sectional finals (elite eight).

Faucher was recently named the new men’s basketball coach at Assumption College.

Linton arrives in Dudley after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Army West Point where he “was responsible for the development of scouting reports on opponents and managing the scout team,” along with additional duties, as well.

“Nichols College is a special institution that offers a world-class experience for our student-athletes both on and off of the court,” said Linton in Thursday’s release. “I cannot wait to begin the process of getting to know our current players and continuing to build on the foundation they have created.”

Linton is no stranger to Division III basketball as he played for Clarkson University in the Liberty League (LL) and spent time as an assistant under coach Tim Gilbride at Bowdoin College.

Finally, congratulations to former Babson College men’s ice hockey assistant coach Chris Zimmerman, who recently celebrated a Stanley Cup championship on Wednesday evening with the St. Louis Blues.

Zimmerman, who President and CEO of Business Operations for the Blues, played hockey at the University of Vermont in the Hockey East before pursuing his MBA at Babson.


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