Brown has hired Melanie Ruzzi as the Bears’ next women’s hockey head coach.
No stranger to the ECAC and Ivy League, Ruzzi comes to Brown with seven years of coaching experience in the conferences.
“We are delighted to welcome Mel to the Brown Athletics community,” said Brown vice president for athletics and recreation M. Grace Calhoun, PhD in a statement. “Through her background locally at Providence College, in addition to her experience at three Ivy League institutions and USA Hockey, Mel quickly rose to the top of an extremely strong and competitive candidate pool. We feel that she is the perfect fit to restore Brown women’s ice hockey to prominence and cannot wait to welcome her, along with her partner Katie Guay, when they arrive on College Hill.”
Ruzzi most recently enjoyed two successful seasons as an assistant coach at Princeton. In her time with the Tigers, Princeton set a program wins record with 26, reached the ECAC tournament final for the first time and won the ECAC tournament title for the first time in 2019-20. The team qualified for the NCAA quarterfinals, but the event was canceled by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am grateful to Dr. Grace Calhoun, Kim Insalaco and members of the search committee for the opportunity to lead this storied hockey program,” said Ruzzi. “Brown University is a prestigious institution with a uniquely welcoming campus and community. I am proud that I get to introduce Brown to prospective student-athletes and engage the incredible women’s hockey alumnae as we work to return the team to the top of the Ivy League and the ECAC. More than anything, I can’t wait to get to know the team, build our staff and enjoy every step of the journey we are taking together.”
Ruzzi began her coaching career at Amherst in 2005, where she acted as an assistant coach for two seasons. From 2007 to 2011, she was an assistant coach at Harvard before returning to her alma mater, Providence, for six years as associate head coach.
Her involvement in hockey exceeds the collegiate ranks. She has been involved with USA Hockey since 2006, and is currently an assistant coach for the USA Under-18 World Championship Team.
A 2003 graduate of Providence, Ruzzi was team captain in 2002-03 and helped the Friars to the ECAC Eastern title as a junior and the inaugural Hockey East title in 2003.