Princeton adds former U.S. Olympian, Harvard grad Picard to women’s hockey coaching staff

Shelly Picard has a decorated playing background with USA Hockey national women’s teams (photo: USA Hockey).

A Team USA veteran, Olympic silver medalist and four-time IIHF World Champion, Shelly Picard has joined the Princeton women’s hockey staff as an assistant coach.

Picard fills the opening created when Melanie Ruzzi became the head coach at Brown.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Shelly to our coaching staff at Princeton,” said Princeton head coach Cara Morey in a statement. “Shelly is not only a decorated U.S. Olympian, but she also has strong ties to the Ivy League and an extensive coaching resume across all age groups. Shelly understands what it takes to compete at the highest level while being a student-athlete in the Ivy League. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with our Princeton players and staff. I can’t wait for her to get started.”

Picard, a blueliner, was a member of the U.S.’s silver medal-winning team at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and Picard has been a part of five U.S. entries in the IIHF Women’s World Championships, most recently winning her fourth gold medal in 2019 in Finland.

“Thank you to the Princeton athletic department for giving me the opportunity to join this incredible coaching staff and team,” Picard said. “This group has high expectations and I can’t wait to dive in and get to work.”

Picard, a Harvard alum, played four seasons for the Crimson between 2011 and 2016 and was a three-time All-Ivy League pick, earning first-team honors in 2016, second-team honors in 2015, and honorable mention in 2013. She earned third-team All-ECAC Hockey recognition in 2013, was a 2016 ECAC Hockey All-Tournament Team member. As of her hiring at Princeton, Picard ranked in the top 50 on Harvard’s career assist list, with 45 to go with eight goals for 53 career points.

Picard was a part of three NCAA tournament teams at Harvard, including helping the Crimson reach the championship game in 2015.

Following her time at Harvard, Picard played for the NWHL’s Metropolitan Riveters from 2016 to 2019, helping the team win the league title in 2018, before serving as a deputy commissioner with the league until March 2021.

She worked as a coach with the New Jersey Colonials youth program for three years beginning in 2018, and Picard has also given her time to Hockey in New Jersey, a group that provides opportunities for youth players to compete free of charge, and to RISE, the Ross Initiative in Sports and Equality, as a fellow with the organization.

Picard was an Anthropology major during her time at Harvard.

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