OTTAWA, Ontario — Former St. Lawrence University women’s hockey player Chelsea Grills was named as the fifth head coach in the University of Ottawa women’s hockey program’s history earlier this week.
Grills was previously named interim head coach on Nov. 8, 2019, after serving as the team’s full-time assistant coach since 2017.
“We are very excited to name Coach Grills the head coach of our Gee-Gees women’s hockey program,” athletic director Sue Hylland said in a statement. We look forward to seeing her continue the great work being done with this program.
“Chelsea brings a strong and successful hockey background and knowledge as player and coach, along with an outstanding work ethic and a values based approach to life. We are confident that parents will continue to be proud to send their daughters to UOttawa with a strong female role model guiding the team towards a bright future.”
Grills, a native of Stittsville, Ontario, recorded her first win as interim head coach the same night as her appointment to the position. On Jan. 19, the Gee-Gees kicked off their longest victorious streak in program history, winning six consecutive games, including five against nationally ranked opponents.
The team closed the regular season with a 7-0-1 record in its final eight games. The Gee-Gees entered the RSEQ playoffs with a 11-7-2 regular-season record, one of their best since the 2006-07 season.
“I would like to thank our varsity athletics staff and the hiring committee for their confidence in me to step into the head coaching position,” Grills said. “The values and expectations at UOttawa are consistent with my own, and I am optimistic for the future and the direction we are headed.”
“There are several areas that make up the overall experience of a student-athlete, and I am dedicated to ensuring our student-athletes have every opportunity to succeed on the ice, in the classroom, and in the community.”
In 2019, Grills was named the team leader and assistant coach of Canada’s women’s hockey team at the 2019 FISU Universiade, bringing home a silver medal with Team Canada.
Prior to joining the Garnet and Grey, Grills won a U SPORTS National Championship as a full-time assistant coach with McGill in 2014 and captured an NCAA Division III national championship as a full-time assistant at Amherst College in 2010. She has also served as the head coach of the women’s U-19 team at the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland, Ontario, and coached in Division I with the University of Vermont.
In her career with the Saints, Grills amassed 169 points in 139 games played. The team captain and 2008 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in education, Grills led the Saints to three appearances at the NCAA Frozen Four tournament.
She also spent four seasons with Hockey Canada’s U22 national team program, and holds a Hockey Canada Coaching Certification, High Performance 1.