The Warriors announced Friday that they had named Howe the team’s new coaching assistant, making her the first woman to hold such a position with a WHL team.
“We are very pleased to add Olivia to our hockey operations staff,” said Warriors general manager Alan Millar. “She has tremendous experience in the game and made a strong impression on our staff at our recent training camp as a guest coach. Olivia has played at a high level, coached, scouted, been a leader, and a champion in her career. She will be a strong addition to our team.”
Howe’s background has been well documented.
A Moose Jaw Minor Hockey product, Howe starred for the Notre Dame Hounds from 2008 to 2012, racking up 107 goals and 207 points in 106 regular season games. She was the Hounds captain for the 2011-12 season and was a key to the teams 2011 Esso Cup National Championship.
That was only the starting point for what would become an incredible NCAA career, as she attended Clarkson University and helped lead the Golden Knights to the 2013-14 NCAA National Championship.
Since graduating Howe has acted as an assistant coach for the Notre Dame junior women’s team as well as a scout for NCAA and CIS prospects across North America.
That all led to the Warriors giving her the call this summer and the chance to work with the team during training camp.
“It was really exciting,” Howe said of the opportunity on Warriors TV. “I didn’t hesitate, I just needed to get out there and be at this level of hockey. It’s definitely a lot different from the female game, so there’s lots to learn… it’s different styles of play, there are a bunch of factors that go into this and it’s a great opportunity.”
Training camp showed that Howe had plenty to offer at the major junior level, leading to a meeting last week to gauge her interest in joining the team on a regular basis.
“It’s been really surprising, the feedback and reaction I’ve had,” she said. “I don’t think there’s any problem communicating with the fellas, they took my criticisms and lessons and the things I had to say very well, and the other coaches helped me as well…. I’m really excited to start here, it’s a great opportunity and being from Moose Jaw, it’s awesome.”
As for that whole trailblazer thing…
“It might sink in eventually,” she said with a laugh. “Right now it’s a little fresh but I’m sure it’ll all sink in what’s going on.”
The Warriors are back in action tonight when they take on the Vancouver Giants. Game time is 7 p.m. at Mosaic Place.