GRAND FORKS, N.D. — North Dakota women’s hockey coach Shantel Rivard has been removed from that position and her contract will not be renewed when it expires on June 30. North Dakota athletic director Tom Buning made the announcement today.
Buning said that Rivard will be reassigned to other duties within the North Dakota athletic department and North Dakota women’s assistant coach Dennis Miller will take over as head coach of the women’s team on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. Buning said a national search for a permanent replacement will be conducted.
“Shantel’s professionalism and tireless efforts have helped to build this program’s foundation,” Buning said. “It’s at this point, however, that I feel only a coaching change will allow us to move the program to the next level.”
North Dakota, currently 3-13-2 overall and 0-11-1 in the WCHA, has 16 regular season games remaining. Next on the schedule is a home series with Bemidji State on Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 15-16).
Rivard, in her fifth season at North Dakota, had a North Dakota career record of 45-91-11 overall (.344). Her WCHA record was 9-55-4 (.162) in the three seasons that North Dakota has been a member of the WCHA.
Rivard was hired as North Dakota’s first varsity women’s ice hockey coach on Jan. 17, 2002. Under Rivard, North Dakota’s women’s team took the ice for the first time in the 2002-03 season, compiling a 10-14-2 overall record while competing as an NCAA Division I independent.
In its first-ever game, the North Dakota women’s hockey team tied Bemidji State, 3-3, in overtime on Oct. 20, 2002, in Bemidji, Minn. The Sioux women made their home debut at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Oct. 27, 2002, in front of 3,200 fans, falling to Boston College, 5-2. North Dakota picked up its first-ever victory the next day (Oct. 28, 2002), however, beating Boston College, 5-3.
In North Dakota’s second season (2003-04), Rivard coached the Sioux to their first winning season, as North Dakota finished 16-14-2 overall. That season the Sioux picked up their first win against an opponent ranked in the national top 10, beating eighth-ranked New Hampshire 3-2 on Nov. 2, 2003.
North Dakota became a full-time member of the WCHA women’s league in the 2004-05 season and posted an inaguural league mark of 6-21-1 while going 9-23-3 overall.
In 2005-06, North Dakota was 7-27-2 overall and 3-23-2 in the WCHA. Included was a 2-0 league win over fourth-ranked Minnesota Duluth on Feb. 11, 2006, in Duluth, Minn.
Prior to coming to North Dakota, Rivard spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Maine. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, she played hockey for four years at RIT. Rivard graduated from RIT in 1995 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering.