(WSYR-TV) — After serving on the coaching staff for the three-time NCAA Champion Clarkson University Golden Knights, Britni Smith is taking the reins of the Syracuse University ice hockey program.
A 2010 graduate of St. Lawrence University, Smith was an assistant at Clarkson for eight years and has served in a number of coaching roles with Hockey Canada since 2014. The Port Perry, Ontario native was a Top-10 finalist for the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as a defenseman at St. Lawrence.
“Britni is a highly regarded coach who is a proven recruiter and has experience as an assistant coach for two national championship teams and as a coach with Hockey Canada,” said Syracuse University Director of Athletics John Wildhack. “She is incredibly detailed and prepared and has excellent communication skills. Britni is a rising star in the coaching profession. We are excited to have her lead our program.”
At Clarkson, Smith played a vital role in helping Clarkson to a 207-60-26 record, including four 30-win seasons, three ECAC Hockey regular season titles, three conference tournament crowns, seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament, showings in four consecutive Frozen Fours (2016 through 2019) and back-to-back NCAA National Championships (2017 and 2018). She mentored three Patty Kazmaier Award winners, two top-three finalists and four top-10 finalists, in addition to 10 All-Americans and five Olympians.
“I am extremely honored and proud to be named the next women’s hockey coach at Syracuse University,” Smith said. “I want to thank Director of Athletics John Wildhack, Senior Associate Athletic Director Jamie Mullin and the rest of the search committee for this opportunity. I look forward to extending the recent successes of the women’s hockey program and continuing to foster a culture of excellence. I am excited to get started and to continue building something special at Syracuse University.”
As part of the Hockey Canada staff, Smith was an assistant coach for the National Women’s U-18 Team in 2016 and 2020, helping to guide both teams to an IIHF World Championship silver medal finish, the National Women’s Development Team in 2018-19, and the National Women’s Development Camp in 2014.
Smith started her coaching career as a top assistant coach at the University of Toronto (2012-14), where she helped lead the Varsity Blues to a 21-9 overall record, including a 17-6 CIS mark in 2013-14, prior to going to Clarkson for the 2014-15 season.
As a standout student-athlete at St. Lawrence, Smith played in 146 games, recording 74 points on 20 goals and 54 assists from the blueline from 2006 to 2010. During her senior campaign, she tallied the third-most points in the country by a defenseman, posting eight goals and 17 assists. She earned All-ECAC Hockey Second Team honors in her junior and senior years and was a three-time conference All-Academic Team member.
Smith played professionally in the CWHL for the Toronto Furies from 2010-14, serving as captain for the 2014 CWHL Champions. She also played for Hockey Canada’s U-22 National Team from 2006-10. She earned a degree in psychology with a minor in sports and exercise science at St. Lawrence, where she played for two seasons for former head coach Paul Flanagan, who came to Syracuse to start the Orange program in 2008-09.
COURTESY OF SYRACUSE ATHLETICS