Saint Mary's University cuts women's hockey
Saint Mary's University in Halifax, N.S., has cut its women's varsity hockey team as a result of ongoing budget deliberations, the university announced Friday.
Steve Sarty, the director of Athletics and Recreation, said the decision followed a detailed review of the university’s sports programs and would save $120,000 a year.
"The players have been notified," Sarty said in a news release. "I know the news has saddened them and, no doubt, it is upsetting."
Head coach Lisa Jordan, who founded and coached the team for 14 years, was shocked when she was informed Friday morning, the Canadian Press is reporting.
She was told when her contract expires March 31, it would not be renewed.
"It's very disappointing for women's sport in general to see a sport go by the wayside," Jordan said. "As well as another professional coaching opportunity for a woman to be gone. This certainly chips away at the armour of our sport."
The Huskies won the Atlantic conference last year for the fourth time in their history. Saint Mary's lost in the bronze-medal game of the women's national championship, which was the Huskies' best result in a Canadian Interuniversity Sport season.
Sarty said all the university's departments have been told to reduce spending in the coming fiscal year. He added that athletics staff considered reducing the budgets of every sports team on campus.
However, he says money is already tight and such a move would have put all teams at a competitive disadvantage. "We all try to run as tight a ship as possible and rub every nickel we can," Jordan said.
Sarty says athletics staff and student services at Saint Mary's will work with any players who want to transfer to another university.
Jordan will be an assistant coach of the Canadian women's hockey team at the world championship next month in Switzerland.
With files from the Canadian Press.