Merrimack Names Erin Hamlen Inaugural Women’s Hockey Coach
- Updated: June 24, 2012
Hamlen served as head coach at the University of New England last season. Before that she was the head coach for the Boston Blades, a professional team competing in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, for two seasons and was a 10-year assistant coach at the University of New Hampshire, her alma mater, from 2000 to 2010.
“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to lead the women’s hockey program at Merrimack College,” said Hamlen. “Through my interactions with Merrimack’s administration, faculty, staff, and students, I have felt at home throughout the entire interview process. The addition of the new rink and athletic facilities is a testament to Merrimack’s commitment to Athletics and provides me with all of the necessary resources to be successful in my quest to build a program that the college can be proud to call their own.
“I want to thank President Hopey for his vision and for his excitement about the future of women’s hockey at Merrimack. I know both he and Jeremy Gibson have high expectations for this program, as do I, and I am looking forward to being a part of the Warrior community.”
At UNH, Hamlen helped lead the Wildcats to four Hockey East Championships as well as six consecutive regular-season titles. She was also a part of two Frozen Four teams at UNH, with each team winning 33 games.
Hamlen has also been involved extensively with USA Hockey as a member of the Under-18 coaching staff for the team that won the United States’ first gold medal and spent eight years as the starting goaltender for the U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team.
“Over the past several years, Merrimack College has seen tremendous growth in women’s athletics and adding a women’s hockey team underscores our commitment to continue that growth,” said Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D., President. “Erin’s coaching experience and passion for this program were evident throughout the interview process and will serve us well as we begin the recruiting process. I am both excited and looking forward to welcoming Erin as the newest Warrior on campus.”
“I am excited to welcome Erin to Merrimack and am thrilled that she will be leading the launch of our Division I women’s ice hockey program,” noted Gibson. “I am very proud that Erin will be joining the Warriors at this exciting time for Merrimack Athletics and the entire Merrimack community.”
As a player at UNH (1989-93), Hamlen ranks among the all-time leaders in wins, saves, minutes played and shutouts. In 1990 and 1991 she led the Wildcats to an ECAC championship and she was selected as 1992 ECAC Goaltender of the Year.
Hamlen was the starting goaltender for Team USA from 1992 to 1997 and in 1993 she became the first American-born woman to play for a professional men’s team when she played four games with the Toledo Storm (ECHL) in the 1993-94 season.