MacDougall And Hilworth Named To FISU Games Staffs

MacDougall And Hilworth Named To FISU Games Staffs

(FREDERICTON, NB) The head coaches of UNB’s men’s and women’s hockey teams have been selected to the coaching staffs for Canada’s entries at the 2023 FISU World University Games, in Lake Placid, New York.

Gardiner MacDougall, now in his 23rd season as head coach of the REDS’ men’s team, will lead Team Canada’s men’s team.

Sarah Hilworth, now in her sixth season as head coach of UNB’s women’s team, will serve as an assistant coach with Team Canada’s women’s team.

“We are thrilled to have two distinguished U SPORTS coaching staffs leading our Canadian teams into action at the 2023 FISU World University Games,” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, the Chief Sport Officer for U SPORTS.

MacDougall has previously coached Canadian teams to FISU success in 2007 and 2013. This will be Hilworth’s first international university sport assignment.

“This is a special lifetime opportunity and privilege to represent U SPORTS at this world championship,” said MacDougall. “Events such as this bring out the very best in both our student-athletes and coaches, and we look forward to helping create a special high-performance journey of growth and achievement for our team.”

MacDougall has coached UNB to seven national championships, nine Atlantic University Sport titles, and recently, in an interim role, led the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Saint John Sea Dogs to the 2022 Memorial Cup championship.

Ryan Sweeney, a member of the REDS’ men’s team medical staff, will join Team Canada in a similar role.

Hilworth will join Team Canada head coach Greg Bowles, of the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, and fellow assistants Katie Mora, from the University of Guelph and Kelly Paton, from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Kyle MacDonald, recently hired as a full-time assistant coach with Hilworth’s REDS, will serve as Team Canada’s goalie and video coach.

“I’m honoured to have been named to the 2022 FISU Team Canada staff,” said Hilworth. “It’s been a goal of mine to represent our country, and it’s exciting to be able to finally realize that goal.”

“UNB has given me every opportunity to continue to grow as a coach, and it’s exciting to know UNB and the Fredericton community will be supporting us as we go for golf in Lake Placid.”

Both MacDougall and Hilworth were named to staffs that were supposed to compete at the 2021 World University Games, in Lucerne, Switzerland.

That event was cancelled due to the pandemic.

The FISU Winter World University Games is the largest winter multi-sport collegiate athletic event in the world and will showcase 11 days of high-level sport and cultural events.

They’ll run January 12th to 22nd.


STORY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics with files from U SPORTS