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Brittany Miller, director of hockey operations for Boston University, at the school's rink in Boston, Dec. 12, 2016. Last fall Miller, at Boston University, and Providence College's new coordinator of hockey operations became the first women to serve as full-time members of an NCAA Division I menÕs hockey coaching staff. (Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times)

Breaking the ice

How two 24-year-old women have made N.C.A.A. Division I Hockey coaching history

By WITW Staff on February 12, 2017

Brittany Miller and Theresa Feaster, both 24 years old, became the first women to serve as full-time employees on an N.C.A.A. Division I men’s hockey coaching staff last fall, after each was hired by her respective Alma mater: Boston University and Providence College.

Both women are self-described hockey fanatics. Miller said she learned to skate by age 3 and played competitive hockey throughout high school before going to college where she almost immediately became a manager for the hockey team at B.U. While working to finish her master’s degree, Miller was approached by the team’s coach and the school’s athletic director to ask if she would take on a full-time role.

“They trust me to do a good job,” said Miller. “They know that I can do this job just as good if not better than any guy.”

Feaster, whose father Jay Feaster worked as general manager of the Calgary Flames, said that she hadn’t thought seriously about working in hockey until 2012, when she attended the N.H.L. draft and the Flames selected two players who ended up at Providence. Feaster, then a junior, approached Friars coach Nate Leaman and offered her services to the team as a volunteer. She quickly impressed Leaman and his staff and, by October, she was a full-time employee.

It wasn’t until a recent formal meeting of the Hockey East Association, in which both schools’ teams compete, that the two met each other formally for the first time. The two said that they had noticed each other, however, while they served with their respective teams as student managers.

“It’s nice to have someone else who worked hard as a manager and proved herself to her coaching staff,” said Miller. “It shows that Hockey East is really moving forward in hiring females.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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