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NEWS: Chelsea Grills appointed head coach of women’s hockey program

NEWS: Chelsea Grills appointed head coach of women’s hockey program

OTTAWA, ON – University of Ottawa Varsity Athletics is proud to officially appoint Chelsea Grills as the fifth head coach in Gee-Gees women's hockey history.

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," said Sue Hylland, Director of Varsity Athletics at uOttawa. "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," added Hylland. "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, Ont., 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 winning streak in program history, winning six consecutive games, including five against nationally-ranked opponents.

In all, the team closed the regular season with a 7-0-1 record in their 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," said Grills. "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, Ont., and coached in Division I with the University of Vermont.

As a player, Grills attended St. Lawrence University. 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.