Laura Schuler, an assistant coach for Minnesota Duluth under Shannon Miller from 2008 to 2015, is returning to the Bulldogs in 2021-22 as an assistant coach under Maura Crowell.
Schuler replaces outgoing assistant coach Ashleigh Brykaliuk, the former UMD captain who left this summer after three seasons to pursue a career in teaching.
Schuler was on staff with the Bulldogs in 2010 when the program won the WCHA regular and postseason titles, as well as a fifth NCAA championship. In the first three of her seven seasons at UMD, the Bulldogs appeared in three NCAA tournaments and reached two Frozen Fours.
"She is an elite hockey mind, talented recruiter and proven coach at the highest level of women's hockey," Bulldogs coach Maura Crowell said in UMD's announcement. "Her experience as both an Olympic player and Olympic head coach with Team Canada will be invaluable to our players and staff. She has already helped bring a national championship to Duluth and we feel we have really hit the jackpot as we add her to our staff."
A native of Scarborough, Ontario, Schuler coached the Canadian National Women’s Team at the 2016 and 2017 World Championships and the Olympic team at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Canada took silver in all three events, losing to the United States all three finals.
Schuler was the head coach at Dartmouth for three seasons from 2016 to 2020 — taking the 2017-18 season off to coach Canada at the Olympics — and spent 2020-21 as a volunteer adviser at Quinnipiac.
Schuler departed the Bulldogs in 2015 after Miller’s contract was not renewed by the university. Schuler was a finalist to replace Miller as coach, but the Bulldogs instead hired Crowell, who last year took the Bulldogs back to the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time since 2010. UMD was also a win away from winning a WCHA regular season title for the first time since 2010.
"I am thrilled to be back in Duluth as part of one of the premier programs in women's hockey," Schuler said. "I have really enjoyed getting to know both Maura and (assistant coach) Laura (Bellamy) over the past few years and admire the work they have done. It was great to see UMD return to the Frozen Four this past season. I look forward to working closely with them both. My wife and I are also excited to be back near friends and family in the Duluth area. I can't wait to get started soon at a place I already consider home."
In addition to coaching at the Olympics, Schuler was a member of the 1998 Canadian Olympic team that won silver. She not only played four seasons at Northeastern from 1989 to 1993, but also was head coach of the Huskies from 2004 to 2008 before joining Miller’s staff at UMD.
Schuler’s coaching career began in 2003-04 as head coach of NCAA Division III Massachusetts-Boston, where Crowell served as head coach from 2005 to 2010.