PAUL SMITHS, NY (12/01/2017) The only four-year college in the Adirondacks continued to embrace the culture of the region when Paul Smiths College announced on Friday, Dec. 1, the advent of women's hockey.
The college made further news when, in conjunction with this new athletic program, it said that Olympic silver medalist Andrea Kilbourne-Hill of Saranac Lake has signed on as Director of Hockey. The team will hit the ice for the first time next fall. Its home rink will be the Saranac Lake Civic Center.
Men's varsity hockey ended in 2003 but currently enjoys club status. Kilbourne-Hill will bring her organizational skills to invigorate both programs.
"It's a double banner day for us at Paul Smith's College," stated Cathy S. Dove, Paul Smiths College president. "Adding a new sport to our campus, led by someone with Andrea's resume, is going to be exciting for the North Country, and will certainly be noticed in the women's college hockey world."
The initiative to include women's hockey was spurred by Chairmen Emeritus Phil Saunders, who spends much of each summer in the High Peaks region.
"I'm excited to help bring women's hockey to Paul Smith's College," said Kilbourne-Hill. "I see the addition of a women's hockey team at Paul Smith's as a win-win. It's a win for Paul Smith's College. Adding a women's hockey team will bring driven and motivated female students onto this beautiful campus."
"The addition of a women's hockey team is also a win for women's hockey in general. Collegiate hockey is competitive and many very good youth players aren't able to play at the college level. The Paul Smith's team will provide more opportunity for these players to continue to play the game they love."
Kilbourne-Hill attended Northwood School in Lake Placid, won an Olympic silver medal with USA Hockey at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, and graduated from Princeton University in 2003. While playing collegiately for the Tigers, Kilbourne-Hill was a candidate for the Patty Kazmaier Award, given annually to the top women's college hockey player. She was also a three-time Most Valuable Player at Princeton.
Kilbourne-Hill served as head coach at Lake Placid High School, Northwood School and for USA Hockey at National Player Development Festivals.
"Andrea has seen it all as a player and a coach," continued Dove. "Paul Smith's College feels very fortunate that we can bring in a person with the complete experience that she has."
"Given our proximity to Lake Placid and the nature of our academic majors, it seems women's ice hockey is a nice addition to the athletic program and the college in general," remarked Paul Smith's College Athletic Director Jim Tucker. "Having someone of Andrea's background and knowledge of the women's international ice hockey world will enhance the potential of bringing in international women's players from the get-go."
About Paul Smith's College
At Paul Smith's College, it's about the experience. We are the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs - in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences - draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. For more information, visit paulsmiths.edu.