Schuler served as an associate head coach with UMD for three seasons

The University of Minnesota Duluth has hired Laura Schuler as its next women’s hockey head coach, Director of Athletics Forrest Karr announced Wednesday.

“Laura has been instrumental in the consistent success of UMD women’s hockey,” said Karr. “She has earned respect throughout the hockey community for her work ethic, hockey knowledge, recruiting and teaching ability. We look forward to supporting the team and staff to ensure that each athlete has a high-quality environment to develop, and helping Laura continue the program’s strong tradition.”

Schuler becomes the third head coach in the 25 year history of one of the most successful programs in all of Division I women’s college hockey after finishing her third consecutive season with the Bulldogs in 2023-24 as an associate head coach. Her return to UMD bench in 2021-22 helped result in an NCAA championship title game appearance and three-straight NCAA Tournament berths for the Bulldogs.

A part of six NCAA Tournament teams at UMD in all, including three NCAA Frozen Fours and an NCAA championship title in 2010, Schuler has spent a total of 10 seasons on the bench of the Bulldogs over her coaching career in Duluth, and helped those 10 UMD teams to a record of 187-105-29. Schuler not only coached all 13 of the Bulldog’s PWHL draft picks over the past two drafts during her time with the UMD program, but has also coached 25 of UMD’s 41 Olympians.

“I am so excited to continue to be a part of this incredible university,” said Schuler. “This program has a proud history in the classroom, in competition and in this great community, and I look forward to building on the legacy of excellence that is UMD women’s hockey. I would also like to thank Chancellor Nies, Athletic Director Karr and the entire search advisory committee for this tremendous opportunity.”

Schuler notably owns an extensive resume of coaching and playing with Hockey Canada, and an international background that has spanned over two decades. Named the head coach of the Canadian National Women’s Hockey team during the 2015-16 season, Schuler was again tabbed for the job over the 2016-17 season. Schuler was then chosen to lead the Canadian Olympic women’s team in the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang. Schuler and Team Canada went on to face the United States where Canada took home the silver medal in a 3-2 shootout loss.

Additionally, the Scarborough, Ontario native has spent a decade coaching all three of Hockey Canada’s High Performance Programs. She was as an assistant coach with the National Women’s Team in 2010-11 (Four Nations Cup – Gold); a head coach of the U-22 National Development Women’s Team in 2011-12 (Meco Cup – Silver);  an assistant of the Canadian U-18 National Team in 2012-13 (Worlds – Gold) and a head coach of the U-18 National Team in 2013-14 (Worlds – Gold).

As a player, Schuler competed for Hockey Canada after her collegiate career at Northeastern. She won three gold medals at the World Championships in 1990, 1992 and 1997, two gold medals at the Pacific Rim Championships in 1995 and 1996 and two gold and a silver at the Three Nations Cup in 1996, 1997 and 1999. She was also a member of the 1998 Canadian Olympic team and won a silver medal at the Winter Games.

Schuler began her coaching career in 2001 as the head coach of UMass Boston and later at her alma mater of Northeastern from 2004-2008.  Schuler became an assistant coach for the Bulldogs originally in 2008 and, over seven seasons, helped lead UMD to three NCAA Tournament berths, as well as an NCAA title in 2010. She then spent three seasons at the helm of Dartmouth College (2016-2020), with a one-year sabbatical during her tenure to guide the Canadian Olympic team in the 2018 Olympics.

Schuler graduated cum laude from Northeastern University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

As the third head coach in program history, Schuler notably has the distinction of having served as an assistant coach for multiple seasons under both of the previous head coaches at UMD – most recently Maura Crowell (2015-2023) and Shannon Miller (1999-2015).