Ohio State officially announced the hiring of Minnesota women’s assistant coach Nadine Muzerall on Sunday as the new head coach of the women’s hockey program.
Muzerall replaces Jenny Potter as head coach, after Potter was fired in August after just one season on the job.
The school did given an official reason for why Potter’s contract was terminated—nor did they ever actually announce that Potter had been fired prior to Muzerall being hired—but Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald reported last Friday that the Buckeyes had self-reported a number of minor recruiting rules violations to the NCAA that Potter had committed. The full list:
On Aug. 29, Ohio State reported a violation to the NCAA that occurred in January 2016 involving Potter’s husband recruiting a prospect during a meeting at a coffee house. Potter was also present at the coffee-house meeting.
Ohio State also reported that Potter conducted an impermissible tryout with the same prospect, playing a pickup game with her at an outdoor rink that Potter knew the prospect frequented. Potter did so while on a road trip with the Ohio State team.
Another violation occurred when Potter and the women’s hockey team hosted a recruit on an official visit prior to the first day of the recruit’s senior year. Official visits are not permitted until prospects begin class during their senior year.
Ohio State also reported a violation when Potter evaluated prospects during a dead period and another “personnel limitations” violation that occurred in March.
Nobody values the sanctity of not playing outdoor pick-up hockey at a park a prospect in known to frequent like I do, but these all seem pretty minor. Four seems like a lot, but Ohio State’s athletic department reported 22 minor NCAA violations in the first half of 2014, including six from the football program alone(And as of press time, football head coach Urban Meyer was still employed by Ohio State).
That said, it is enough ammo to remove an unpopular coach, and Ohio State had four players transfer out of the program this past summer including last year’s team-leading scorer Claudia Kepler, and others rumored to be unhappy,
So Nadine Muzerall walks into a tough situation, as the third coach of the Ohio State women’s team in as many years. But she brings an incredibly strong resume to the job. In addition to her experience as a player, she has had tremendous success as an assistant at the University of Minnesota, working five years as an assistant coach under Brad Frost, and winning four national titles in that time span. Her connections with Hockey Canada should also be an asset in recruiting.
Joining Muzerall on the Ohio State staff is Jess Koizumi, who will serve as associate head coach. Koizumi retired from playing in the NWHL women’s professional league to take the job. Prior to that, she had served as an assistant coach for the Yale women’s program.