Nadine Muzerall Continues Gophers Legacy as Member of Coaching Staff

Mark StaffieriContributor IIApril 10, 2013

Photo obtained from Minnesota Golden Gophers athletics
Photo obtained from Minnesota Golden Gophers athletics

One of the first superstars that the Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s hockey program ever had, Nadine Muzerall joined the coaching staff in the autumn of 2011. Muzerall is also the program’s all-time leading goal scorer with 139.

In addition, Muzerall'a prodigious play was featured in Sports Illustrated (issue dated April 3, 2000). A trading card of Muzerall was also featured in Sports Illustrated for Kids in 2001. Muzerall has also had gloves displayed at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Since her return to the Gophers program, the squad has enjoyed two consecutive NCAA Frozen Four titles, including an undefeated season in 2012-13. For Muzerall, the opportunity to return to the program where she became a legend and contribute as coach was one of excitement.

“Absolutely! I have an immense amount of pride for the Gopher Women's Hockey program. Although I am a native of Canada, I always felt like Minnesota was home because of my experience as a Gopher. It just feels so right to be back coaching these young ladies and giving them the experience I had and loved.”

Having led the Gophers to a national title in 2000 as a player, Muzerall is among an elite few to have enjoyed championship glory as a player and coach. Muzerall would be the first to acknowledge that winning the title as a coach was a much more challenging experience.

"First of all, it is much harder to win a National Championship as a coach compared to a player. There is definitely a lot more stress standing on the other side of the ice than playing and having somewhat control of the game.”

“I am so grateful to have coached two seasons and have won two National Championships as a coach. It’s a bit surreal. Everything I have accomplished both as a player and coach with the Gophers is my most memorable and cherished moments.”

When asked if current players ask her what it was like when she played on the Gophers, she replied, “Some more than others. A few of the players were fans and sitting in the bleachers as eight-year olds waiting for autographs after the games when I played and now they are the ones living the dream and idolized by the new generation of eight-year old fans."

The first female hockey player inducted into the University of Minnesota’s M Club Hall of Fame, Muzerall has carved a remarkable legacy. For Gopher players and fans alike, the opportunity to have one of their living legends back with the Maroon and Gold is just as cherished as the national titles she has contributed to.

“I, of course, tell them stories, and there are many since I was part of the inaugural team, so I know firsthand about the traditions and heritage of Gopher Women's Hockey. However, they have one of the best stories of all to tell now with the "Perfect Season". I’m so happy that the tradition of success is still so strong here.”

All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated.