Date Posted:07/18/2006, 4:30PM
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Michele Amidon (Portland, Maine), a former U.S. Women's National Team player who has spent the last eight seasons of her professional career as the highly successful head coach of the Bowdoin College women's ice hockey team, has been named USA Hockey's first-ever Director of Women's Hockey. Amidon has resigned her post at Bowdoin and a search has already begun for her replacement.
"Michele has a unique background as a player, a coach and an administrator," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "We couldn't be more pleased to have her joining us to help direct the future of our national women's program."
Over the course of nine seasons as Bowdoin's head coach, Amidon led the Polar Bears to unrivaled success. During her tenure, she has guided Bowdoin to a 140-52-12 overall record, including four NCAA Tournament appearances, two New England Small College Athletic Conference championships and four NESCAC championship game appearances.
"We're very proud and excited for Michele as she takes on this new challenge," said Jeff Ward, the Director of Athletics at Bowdoin. "She has done an extraordinary job at developing the women's ice hockey program at Bowdoin into one of the best in Division III and we wish her continued success at USA Hockey."
Bowdoin began its rise to national prominence during the 2001-02 season, a year in which Amidon guided the Polar Bears to a school-record 23 victories, an NESCAC Championship and the school's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. For her efforts, she was honored as the NESCAC Coach of the Year.
The 2002-03 campaign brought even more success, as Amidon guided Bowdoin back to the NCAA Tournament and a third-place national finish. That year, she was named both the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year by the American Hockey Coaches Association as well as the NESCAC Coach of the Year.
"Getting someone of Michele's caliber is a tremendous benefit to our women's national program as we begin preparations for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver," said Jim Johannson, senior director of hockey operations at USA Hockey. "She brings knowledge and passion to the table that will not only benefit our women's national program, but girls' and women's hockey in the United States overall."
Amidon also has coaching experience at the international level, having served as assistant coach with the U.S. National Women's 22 & Under Team that competed in the 1999 Christmas Cup in Fussen, Germany. In addition, she has been involved as a head coach at USA Hockey's Player Development Camps on several occasions.
"I'm really excited to embark on this new challenge," said Amidon. "USA Hockey has done a terrific job in developing its women's national team program and women's and girls' hockey overall and I'm very much looking forward to helping lead that effort into the future."
Amidon has a multitude of international playing experience on her resume, including winning a silver medal as a member of the U.S. National Team at the 1992 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship.
A 1994 graduate of St. Lawrence University, she is a four-year letter winner and three-year captain of the SLU women's ice hockey team. In her first year with the team, she was voted Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie and Division III Player of the Year. Named the ECAC Most Valuable Player as a junior and to the ECAC All-Star Team her senior campaign, Amidon was a three-time MVP of the St. Lawrence team.
Amidon will begin her duties at USA Hockey effective August 15.