Women’s Hockey: Tara Watchorn Appointed as Head Coach

By Michael Wax

Boston University Women’s Ice Hockey is set for a brand-new look in 2023-24, as Tara Watchorn was introduced as the second head coach in the program’s history on Wednesday afternoon.

“I know I have big shoes to fill, but I feel so passionate that I can carry on the traditions and things that Brian has helped start,” said Watchorn. “I think it’s just such an exciting time for the program and it means so much to get to come back to my alma mater.”

Watchorn steps into the role after two years as the head coach at Stonehill College, guiding the Skyhawks to a 19-16-2 in 2022-23 as their first season as a Division I program. Watchorn was rewarded for her success by being named a finalist for the ACHA Division I coach of the year.

Marrochello stated during the introduction that there was a “deep pool” of candidates following the retirement of Brian Durocher, but Watchorn’s vision set her apart from a swath of other candidates.

She has great presence and great command.” said Boston University Athletic Director Drew Marrochello. “Some people come in and answer interview questions, and you don’t really get a sense of who they are and how they’re going to run the program. And from the beginning, she had a clear plan, a pathway, and great ideas about everything we asked.”

Watchorn’s introduction to the team itself was met with smiles and applause, as many of the Terriers had experience under Watchorn from her time as an assistant coach.

“Right as she walked in the door, everyone smiled,” junior assistant captain Madison Cardaci said. “I looked around the room and everyone was just cheering for her and clapping. I think the clapping went on for about three minutes.”

Though Watchorn was announced as the new head coach on April 3, the formal introduction had to wait due to the men’s team making their way to Tampa for the Frozen Four. Watchorn found her way to Tampa to support the Terriers and get reacclimated to a program she had been a part of for so many years.

“To reintegrate into that excitement for BU hockey, and to get to just be in it and be part of it and being around it was so cool,“ Watchorn said.

After several years of missed opportunities, Marrochello and Watchorn laid out the aspirations for the program very clearly: A return to the national stage.

“You put women’s hockey on the map,” Watchorn said, thanking Durocher. “I want to make you proud of what this team does in the future: To finish what we started and bring a national championship back to Comm. Ave.”

The players echoed a familiar sentiment.

“I think a lot of us really need that belief,” junior assistant captain Lacey Martin said.: I feel like the past couple years that we’ve had, maybe we’ve lost that. Having someone come in and tell us that they think this group can make it to the national championship… I think that’s awesome. It’s really motivating.”

Even with the 2023-24 season over six months away, hopes are still high for the brand-new season and the heights that the program is looking to return to.