Women’s hockey hires new coaches

When former Robert Morris University women’s hockey coach Nate Handrahan took a new job as head coach of the Ohio State women’s hockey team there was a void left behind the Colonials bench.

It didn’t take long for the announcement that there was a new coach at the reigns of the program and that new leader just so happened to be a familiar face from a rival program.

On June 13 RMU Athletic Director Craig Coleman named Paul Colontino, the former Associate Head Coach at Mercyhurst University as Handrahan’s replacement.

Colontino brings a different type of coaching style to the Colonials bench and prefers to leave game time to the players.

“I like to let the players play during the game,” describes Colontino. “For the most part I’m not the kind of coach on the bench yelling and screaming.”

Since the hire Colontino has been busy, not only traveling back and forth from his Erie home to Moon Township, but also hiring a new volunteer assistant coach in former Colonial standout Brianne McLaughlin.

“She brings a lot of women’s hockey experience with her in terms of the Olympic level, national level, and college level,” explains Colontino. “She’s been successful at all three of those levels, is a very hardworking and determined person, and she will be a good role model for the players.”

McLaughlin was excited by the invite and found it almost impossible to turn down.

“I’m extremely excited to work with the girls program this year, and when Coach Colontino offered me the position, I couldn’t turn it down,” says McLaughlin. “Being a part of the inaugural team I’ve grown a love for the program and want to see it succeed”

With a major shakeup to the coaching staff during the summer break Colontino hasn’t had much of a chance to meet his new team so he’s excited for his players to return to campus.

“We’re all excited as a coaching staff and I think it’s a good situation right now,” remarks Colontino. “Ten days from now they’re going to be arriving on campus and there’s going to be a lot of energy and excitement.”

While Colontino is excited to be at RMU he admits returning to Mercyhurst will be a fun experience not only for himself but for past and present players as well.

“Returning is an exciting situation, after playing and coaching there for so long,” explains Colontino. “I think it’ll be a good thing, the players will be excited to play them and my former players will be excited to play against me.”

With a new coaching staff ready to make their mark on the program and players returning from break with energy for a new season the women’s hockey team should be an exciting one to watch this coming season.