Jenny Potter, a four-time Olympian and college hockey star in Minnesota, is the new head women’s coach at Ohio State.
Potter succeeds Nate Handrahan, who stepped down under pressure last month while under school investigation for allegedly making sexually explicit comments to players on the team and retaliating against players who complained.
The Buckeyes were 67-64-15 in Handrahan’s four seasons.
Potter, 36, had been the head coach at Division III Trinity College in Connecticut for the past two seasons, leading the Bantams in 2014-15 to their first conference championship and second NCAA tournament berth in program history.
“Her experience in the sport of hockey as a highly decorated player both at the NCAA and Olympic level will give the student-athletes an instant `winners’ mentality,” Shaun Richard, OSU’s associate athletic director for sport administration, said in making the announcement Sunday.
Ohio State finished the 2014-15 season 17-16-3 overall, 12-13-3-1 in the WCHA.
Potter said, “I am proud to be a Buckeye, and I look forward to coaching and mentoring these young women.”
Potter, who starred at Edina High School when her last name was Schmidgall, was an All-America forward all four years in college, three times with Minnesota Duluth and once with Minnesota. She was on Duluth’s national championship team in 2003.
Potter ranks as the Bulldogs’ all-time leading scorer and shares the NCAA record for goals in a game with six. In the 1999-00 season, she not only led the nation in scoring but also was named the WCHA’s Most Valuable Player.
She won the same award in 2002-03.
U men end up 12th
The preseason No. 1-ranked Gophers finished 12th in the final USCHO college hockey poll of the season released Monday afternoon.
Providence was No. 1 after winning the national championship on Saturday night with a 4-3 win over Boston University. The Friars entered the NCAA tournament ranked 15th and were the last team to earn a spot in the 16-team field.
Boston University, North Dakota, Nebraska Omaha and Denver round out the USCHO top five.
Minnesota Duluth closed out the season as the state’s highest-ranked program at No. 6 after losing to Boston University in the Northeast Region final. Minnesota State Mankato, the NCAA tournament’s overall No. 1 seed, finished No. 7.
The Gophers held the No. 1 ranking for the first five weeks of the season before a steady decline that pushed them out of the USCHO poll for the first time since April 2011. Their late-season rally eventually earned them a spot back in the top 10 and Big Ten regular-season and conference tournament championships.
However, the run ended in the first round of the NCAA tournament after a 4-1 loss to Minnesota Duluth.
Richards is U.S. coach
Former Gophers All-America and current Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards was chosen as head coach of the U.S. men’s national team for the IIHF World Championships next month in the Czech Republic. Mike Reilly, the Gophers’ All-America, will play for Team USA and Richards at the tournament. The Blue Jackets own Reilly’s draft rights until June 1.
• The Gophers’ Danielle Parlich, the team’s leading hitter, was named the Big Ten softball freshman of the week for the third time this season, the conference announced. The honor was the seventh weekly league honor awarded to a Gopher this season.