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On Thursday, Syracuse named Clarkson assistant Britni Smith as its new head coach, according to SU Athletics. Smith becomes the second head coach in program history following the retirement of Paul Flanagan.

“Britni is a highly regarded coach who is a proven recruiter and has experience as an assistant coach for two national championship teams and as a coach with Hockey Canada,” SU Athletic Director John Wildhack said in the press release.

Like Flanagan, Smith played at St. Lawrence, where she made three NCAA Tournament appearances and one Frozen Four appearance. Following her playing career, Smith joined Vicky Sunohara’s coaching staff at the University of Toronto in 2012.

In 2014, Smith became an assistant at Clarkson. During her tenure, the Golden Knights had a record of 207-60-26. This included four 30-win seasons, three Eastern College Athletic Conference regular season titles and seven NCAA Tournament appearances. From 2016-19, the Golden Knights qualified for the Frozen Four every year.

Smith was also a part of the Canadian national team, serving as an assistant coach for the U18 team in the 2016 and 2020 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships. Both times, Canada earned the silver medal.

Smith now joins a Syracuse team that recently made its second NCAA Tournament in program history. Still, three of the Orange’s top five scorers from this past season are seniors or older and there will be a lot of roster turnover before next season.

The highest-scoring returner will be rising sophomore Sarah Marchand. Both starting goalies — senior Arielle DeSmet and graduate student Allison Small — will not be on the roster next season. But the Orange still have young contributors including Marchand, Madison Primeau and Terryn Mozes to fill the starting roles left behind by the departing players.

“I look forward to extending the recent successes of the women’s hockey program and continuing to foster a culture of excellence,” Smith said.


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