Grills becomes the fifth head coach in Gee-Gees women’s hockey program history. Photo: Greg Mason/Varsity Athletics
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Grills was interim head coach since November leading the team to their best record since the 2006-07 season

The University of Ottawa’s Varsity Athletics department has named Chelsea Grills as the new head coach of the Gee-Gees women’s hockey team. Grills previously served as the interim head coach of the team following Yanick Evola’s sudden departure in November hours before a game against the University of Montreal Carabins.

“I would like to thank our varsity athletics staff and the hiring committee for their confidence in me to step into the head coaching position,” said Grills in a Varsity Athletics press release. “The values and expectations at uOttawa are consistent with my own, and I am optimistic for the future and the direction we are headed.”

In 15 games at the helm of the women’s hockey team Grills led a Gee-Gees team with 12 rookies on its roster to a 9-5-1 record with a 7-0-1 stretch to close out the regular season. The Gee-Gees, however, lacking experience struggled in the playoffs and were swept by the McGill Martlets in the first round scoring only one goal in two games.    

“We are very excited to have coach Grills as our coach of choice and we look forward to a very bright future for the women’s hockey program,” said Sue Hylland, Director of Varsity Athletics in a zoom press conference. 

Grills a Stittsville native, was previously an assistant coach with the Gee-Gees before that she coached as an assistant coach with McGill in 2014 and captured an NCAA Division III National Championship as a full-time assistant at Amherst College in 2010. She has also served as the head coach of the women’s U-19 team at the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland, Ont., and coached in the NCAA with the University of Vermont.

As a player Grills played for St. Lawrence University. In her career with St. Lawrence University, Grills scored 169 points in 139 games played serving as team captain in 2008. In her time as a player Grills and the Saints appeared in three appearances at the NCAA Frozen Four tournament.