After leading the UW-Stevens Point women’s hockey team to its second straight NCAA Division III Frozen Four appearance this past March, Ann Ninnemann has been named the school’s full-time head coach.
Ninnemann, who coached the 2006-07 season on an interim basis, guided the Pointers to a 20-7-2 overall record and a third place finish at the Frozen Four. UW-Stevens Point was nationally ranked every week during the season and won the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association playoff championships with a dramatic 3-2 double overtime win at UW-Superior. The Pointers also beat second-ranked Gustavus Adolphus 4-1 in the NCAA quarterfinals before eventually defeating Amherst 4-3 in overtime in the national third place game.
“Ann did a terrific job this past season and we’re very excited she will be coaching our team on a full-time basis,” UW-Stevens Point athletic director Frank O’Brien said. “Ann is the perfect choice to maintain the high level of success our women’s hockey program has established.”
“I’m definitely excited to be back,” Ninnemann said. “I’m comfortable here and I feel like I belong. I learned every day this past season and I’m ready to continue leading this program.”
The Pointers have made three Frozen Four appearances in the past four seasons and own one of the best records among all Division III teams over the past six years with a 128-28-13 record since Ninnemann joined the program as a player in 2001-02.
“The first year exceeded my expectations, but the whole transition phase was easier than I thought it would be,” Ninnemann said. “I attribute a lot of that to the girls and how hard they worked.”
Ninnemann, a Rosemount, Minn., native, was the school’s first women’s hockey All-American in 2001-02 and captained the Pointers for three straight seasons from 2002-05. She totaled 55 goals and 69 assists for 124 points while never missing a game during her career and ranking second all-time in goals and points.
The 24-year old Ninnemann was an assistant coach for the Pointers’ national third place team in 2005-06 before accepting the interim position in August. She also is an assistant coach for UW-Stevens Point’s softball team, which is 32-8 overall and qualified for the NCAA Division III tournament.