COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey today announced Scott Balboni (State College, Pa.) and Kristen Wright (Broomfield, Colo.) as head coaches for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National University Teams. The squads will compete in the 2015 Winter World University Games Feb. 4-14, 2015, in Granada, Spain.
“We’re excited to have Scott and Kristen leading our teams,” said Ashley Bevan, USA Hockey’s senior director of adult hockey. “Both of them bring invaluable coaching experience to this role, and, coupled with some outstanding assistant coaches, we’re very pleased with the staffs that will guide our teams at the Winter World University Games.”
Balboni, who also served as head coach of the 2013 U.S. Men’s National University Team and led that squad to its best-ever finish in the Winter World University Games, previously worked in the same role for the Penn State University men’s ice hockey club team from 2006-11. He was named the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Men’s Division I National Coach of the Year in 2007 after guiding Penn State to the national title game and a .781 winning percentage. Balboni was an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National University Team at both the 2009 Winter World University Games in Harbin, China, and the 2011 Games in Erzurum, Turkey.
Dan Phelps (Livonia, Mich.) and Sean Hogan (Athens, Ohio) will serve as assistant coaches under Balboni. Phelps, who spent the last six seasons (2007-13) as head coach of the Adrian College Men’s Ice Hockey Team, will be behind the bench for his third straight Winter World University Games. Hogan is making his second Winter World University Games coaching appearance after working alongside Balboni and Phelps at the 2013 Games. He was recently named head coach of the Ohio University Men’s Ice Hockey Team.
Wright will serve as head coach of the 2015 U.S. Women’s National University Team, after helping the 2013 U.S. Women’s National University Team to the bronze medal as an assistant coach. The 2014-15 campaign will mark Wright’s sixth season as head coach of the University of Colorado Women’s Ice Hockey Team. The St. Paul, Minnesota native was named coach of the year by the University of Colorado Collegiate Sport Clubs in 2014.
Scott Hicks (Oxford, Ohio) and Shelley Looney (Buffalo, N.Y.) will join Wright behind the bench at the 2015 Winter World University Games. Hicks, who currently serves as head coach of the Miami University Women’s Ice Hockey Team, was named 2014 ACHA Division I Coach of the Year after leading the squad to the ACHA National Championship. Looney, a two-time member of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team (1998, gold; 2002, silver), is currently the director of hockey for the Buffalo Bison program. A native of Brownstown, Michigan, Looney has coached multiple girls’ hockey teams and is actively involved in USA Hockey. Both Hicks and Looney are making their Team USA coaching debuts.