HOCKEY: Former Lumberjack Sarah Erickson to coach Concordia
MOORHEAD -- A recent gold medalist is set to lead the Concordia College women's hockey team. Concordia named former Bemidji Lumberjack star and Minnesota captain Sarah Erickson as its new head coach for the program on Thursday.
"Concordia is a really good fit for me," said Erickson, a 2008 Bemidji High School graduate. "I know I'm going to have 110-percent support."
Erickson, 23, played on the U.S. National Team, which won the gold medal at the International Ice Hockey Women's World Championships in Ottawa last April. She also played on a NCAA Division I national championship team in her final season (2011-12) with the Gophers.
"We are ecstatic to be able to have Sarah take control of the program," said Concordia athletic director Rich Glas.
Erickson replaces Brett Bruininks, who left Concordia to take an assistant coaching position at Minnesota State-Mankato.
The Cobbers finished 13-8-5 last season and made it all the way to the MIAC championship game before losing to Gustavus Adolphus.
Erickson is the sixth head coach in the history of the program, which started in 1999.
She is originally from Roseau and graduated from Bemidji High School in 2008.
While playing for the Lumberjacks, Erickson was named Ms. Hockey in Minnesota in 2008. She played for BHS for her sophomore, junior and senior seasons and recorded a total of 193 points in a Lumberjack sweater.
Erickson played for the Gophers from 2008-2012. She played in 158 games for Minnesota, ranking her second in program history in that category. Erickson had 69 goals and 86 assists during her college career.
She is the youngest head coach in the history of Concordia athletics.
"It's not about the age," Erickson said. "It's about the confidence level of walking into the locker room and saying 'Here is what it takes to win and have a great experience.' "
Erickson served as an assistant coach at Wisconsin-Stevens Point last season, while playing with the national team.
Erickson was trying out for the 2014 U.S. Olympic women's hockey team in Lake Placid, N.Y., when she suffered a knee injury. The injury happened about a month ago, Erickson said.
"It came at the right time for me coming off my successful playing career," Erickson said of the Concordia job. "As of now, I'm a retired player. Right now, I have my whole heart on being a hockey coach."