Longtime coach Lewis chosen to lead New England College women’s team

New England College has named Maria Lewis the new head coach of the women’s hockey team.

Lewis comes to NEC with nearly 20 years of coaching experience in both Division I and Division III. Most recently, she was the head coach at Johnson and Wales, where she started the program from scratch and led the team to a 9-16-1 record in just its second season of varsity play.

“We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Maria as our next women’s ice hockey coach,” said NEC director of athletics Lou Izzi in a statement. “Maria brings a wealth of Division I and Division III coaching and recruiting experience to our program. We are looking forward to her rebuilding our women’s ice hockey program and making us highly competitive in the New England Hockey Conference.”

Prior to coaching at JWU, Lewis was the head coach at Maine where she earned Hockey East Coach of the Year honors in 2012 and led the team to its most Hockey East wins in program history.

“I am excited for the opportunity to take over the women’s hockey program at NEC,” added Lewis. “There is a solid foundation on which this program can build on, along with a great rink and family-oriented campus community.

“Lou Izzi has made great strides in the department the last two years and I am inspired by the recent success of several of the other programs such as men’s ice hockey, baseball, lacrosse, and women’s basketball. I believe women’s ice hockey will soon follow suit and I am thrilled to be a part of the journey. Lou was a great mentor to me during my first year at Johnson and Wales and I am very grateful for the chance to work with him again at NEC. We share a vision of a championship program here and I am eager to get started.”

“Also, many thanks to Renee Hellert, Erica Ledy, Tom Carroll, Charlie Mason, Julie Gendron, and Ashley Sullivan for making NEC a very welcoming place during this process.”

Lewis was a Division I assistant for 11 years before taking the head job at Maine. Over those 11 years, she made stops at Mercyhurst, Ohio State and North Dakota. She was a two-time College Hockey America assistant coach of the year during her time at Mercyhurst.

A 1999 graduate of RIT, Lewis was a four-year member of the women’s team and was named the 1996 ECAC Rookie of the Year.

Lewis becomes the seventh coach in New England College history. She will take over a team that finished the 2016-17 season with a 5-19-1 record.

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