Sophie Leclerc '10 was named the second head coach in Norwich University women's ice hockey history on May 17, 2019, replacing Mark Bolding as the only coach the program had known since its varsity inception in 2007-08.
The Barre, Vt. native returns to Norwich and Central Vermont after spending four years as an assistant coach at Division I Colgate University, helping lead the Raider women's hockey program to unprecedented levels of success during her time there.
"I am pleased to announce that Sophie Leclerc, former All-American women's hockey standout for Norwich University will become the second women's ice hockey coach in our program's rich history," Mariano said. "Sophie had an outstanding playing career and her experience as an assistant coach at Norwich and Colgate University has prepared her for our head coaching position. I am excited for the future of Norwich women's hockey under Sophie's direction and I look forward to many successful years ahead for women's hockey at Norwich."
Leclerc helped head coach Greg Fargo lead a dramatic program turnaround at Colgate with a 101-36-1 record in their four seasons together, including making the program's first appearance in the NCAA Division I National Championship game in 2017-18. Prior to Leclerc's arrival at Colgate, the Raiders had never had a 20-win season and their best win total in the previous five seasons was 11.
"I am humbled and feel extremely fortunate to accept the position of head women's hockey coach at my alma mater," Leclerc said. "Together, our staff and players will continue to embrace the overall mission of Norwich and represent our institution, program and community, on and off the ice, with purpose, enthusiasm, and excellence."
In 2017-18, Colgate won a program-record 34 games, shattering its previous high of 22 games. The Raiders also won their first ECAC Hockey regular season conference title, made their first conference title game appearance, first NCAA Tournament berth and first Frozen Four appearance.
Leclerc also played an instrumental role in bringing in the nation's No. 1-ranked recruiting class (neutralzone.net) for the 2019-20 season.
Leclerc was a four-year standout at Norwich, helping build the program from the ground up as a player on the inaugural varsity team in 2007-08. She went on to cap her sensational playing career by guiding NU to its first national championship with a 5-2 victory over RIT in 2011.
Leclerc still ranks as the all-time program assists leader and is ranked second in nearly every other offensive category, including career points. She scored 72 goals (third) and tallied 91 assists for 163 points in 112 career games played.
In her senior year, Leclerc set new single-season personal records at the time for goals (26), assists (28) and points (54). She was named the NEHC Player of the Year, New England Division III Player of the Year, American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) First Team All-American and was the runner up for the Laura Hurd Award (National D-III Player of the Year).
After graduation, she spent one season as the head girl's ice hockey coach at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H., Leclerc returned to Norwich to serve as the full-time assistant coach under Bolding in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
In two seasons, she helped the Cadets to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, including a NCAA Division III National Runner-Up finish in 2013-14. Norwich posted a 49-10-3 mark in Leclerc's tenure as an assistant coach.
Leclerc graduated from Norwich with a Bachelor in Physical Education degree and then also earned her Master in Organizational Leadership degree in 2012 from Norwich as well.