May 18, 2021

Danielle Goyette departs Dinos for NHL opportunity

Women's hockey head coach takes on director of player development duties for Toronto Maple Leafs
Danielle Goyette
Dinos Athletics

University of Calgary women’s hockey head coach Danielle Goyette announced her resignation May 17 after 14 years at the helm of the Dinos.

An honoured member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Goyette departs for Toronto, where she will take over as director of player development for the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. She will join one of her former players, Dinos alumna Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser, MD'21, on the player development staff for the Maple Leafs.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make,” says Goyette, who joined the Dinos in 2007 following her retirement from the women’s national team. “I loved my job, I loved working at the University of Calgary. I have grown a lot as a person and as a coach, and I had the chance to work with so many great people. I feel fortunate to have had a chance to make a difference for so many young hockey players.

“On the other hand, what an honour to have a chance to work for one of the best sports organizations in the world. This opportunity was too good to pass up — it’s a new challenge and I’m looking forward to working with the Maple Leafs and the Marlies. Changing cities and positions will be an adjustment, but I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”

“We’re certainly sorry to see Danielle go, but it really is the opportunity of a lifetime for her to join a world-class organization in Toronto and I know she will have success there,” says Ben Matchett, interim director of athletics.

Her drive and desire to win brought the Dinos to national prominence, and she has made an impact on hundreds of female hockey players during her time here. We can’t thank her enough, and we wish her the very best.

After a legendary career on the ice that included three Olympic medals (two gold, one silver), eight world championship titles, and the flagbearer role for Canada at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, Goyette took over the reins of the Dinos women’s hockey team in the 2007-08 season. After several years near the bottom of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference standings, the Dinos reached the league final in Goyette’s first year behind the bench and won the championship the following year.

In 2009, the Dinos returned to Canada West competition after a seven-year absence and, in just their third year back on the circuit, captured the program’s first conference and national championships in 2012. In her final season as head coach of the Dinos, the team finished with an 18-7-3 record in 2019-20. In 410 career games behind the Dinos bench, Goyette accumulated a 213-197 record.

A member of the coaching staff for Canada’s Olympic gold medal at Sochi 2014, Goyette was enshrined in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 and entered the Hockey Hall of Fame with the 2017 induction class.

"Danielle Goyette — so excited for her," says Penny Werthner, dean, Faculty of Kinesiology. "She will bring great expertise to the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Marlies, and it is a great next step in her outstanding hockey career! But, at the same time, a great loss for all of us — Dinos Athletics, the Dinos women's hockey team, the Faculty of Kinesiology, and the University of Calgary.

"We will certainly miss her. I have known Danielle for many years, since the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, when the women's game was first able to play at that level. She has always been a passionate and skilled player, a superb coach, and our student-athletes have tremendous respect for Danielle. We wish her all the best.

"We know she and Hayley Wickenheiser will make a great team."

With ongoing support from the Joan Snyder Program of Excellence and the recent $100,000 donation to the program by philanthropist Dan Laplante, Goyette leaves the women’s hockey program in excellent shape off the ice as well.

The University of Calgary will begin an immediate, national search for the next head coach of the Dinos women’s hockey team.