June 11, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Providence College women's ice hockey Head Coach Bob Deraney announced today (June 11) that Melanie Ruzzi has been named assistant coach. The Burnsville, Minn. native returns to her alma mater, where she was a star defenseman from 1999 to 2003. Ruzzi replaces Karen Thatcher, who will take a more limited role in the program as she pursues a place on the 2014 United States Olympic Team.
"We are very excited to have Melanie Ruzzi join our coaching staff," Deraney said. "She brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and recruiting experience. Without question, our program and our players are going to benefit from her addition."
During her playing career, Ruzzi helped lead the Friars to two championships, including the ECAC Eastern title in 2002 and the inaugural Women's Hockey East crown in 2003. She served as captain of the 2002-03 team, earning Hockey East Honorable mention status and the team's Coaches' Award. For her career, she played in 141 games, fourth on the Friars' all-time list, and accounted for 13 goals and 38 assists for 51 points from the blue line.
"I am incredibly proud and thankful to coach at the school and in the program that has shaped so much of who I am today," said Ruzzi. "The Friar family has been an important part of my life and it is an honor to be able to give back by working to continue the tradition of excellence in Providence College Women's Hockey."
After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Providence, Ruzzi spent two seasons as an assistant coach with Amherst College. At Amherst, she helped guide the Lord Jeffs to their first conference title and a semifinal berth in the NCAA tournament.
Ruzzi then spent four seasons on Head Coach Katey Stone's staff at Harvard, helping lead the Crimson to their eighth NCAA tournament appearance in 2010.
The Providence College women's ice hockey team just completed its 38th season of competition in 2012, and recently became just the second NCAA program to surpass the 600-win plateau. This past season, the team became the only Women's Hockey East squad to advance to the conference semifinals or beyond in each of the league's 10 years.
- Go Friars -
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