Chapter Two: Harvard University

In Chapter Two, a four-year college playing career becomes the start of college coaching, including the launch of Harvard’s women’s program.

Harvard Athletics was in a major facility renovation around this time, one that was long overdue. In short order, Blodgett Pool, Gordon Track and Bright Hockey Center were constructed. The latter rose up on the site of Watson Rink and meant that the first women’s varsity team would not have a home rink.

We practiced (at 6:30 a.m.) and played our home games at the Buckingham Browne and Nichols School, a mile or so away from Harvard’s athletic facilities. That meant two vans had to leave Dillon Field House shortly after 6:00 each morning, with captain Alison Bell and myself usually behind the respective steering wheels.

It was in this context that I attended a planning meeting with architects and members of the Department of Athletics to review blueprints and the like.

At one point, it dawned on me that the plans for the new rink called for a men’s varsity locker room, a men’s JV locker room and two visiting team rooms. But no women’s varsity room.

On further study, I saw that a women’s varsity room existed within the adjoining track building, a short walk from the actual rink. Given that I was invited to the meeting as the representative of women’s hockey, I thought I should pose a question: “Call me crazy, but shouldn’t the women’s ice hockey team have a room that’s actually inside the hockey rink?”

I suggested that there should be both a men’s and women’s varsity room of equal size and location, a men’s JV room and one visiting team room. If they were to host a tournament, that room in the track could be for a second visiting team. That was what ended up in the Bright Hockey Center when it opened on November 10, 1979. (The men’s varsity was shutout by Jim Craig and the future miracle workers of Team USA, 4-0.)

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