Stone, who has led Harvard University’s team for the last 18 seasons and is the NCAA Division I active wins leader with 378, has been involved with USA Hockey since 2006. However, the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will be her first Olympics.
“It’s unbelievable and a tremendous honor, obviously,” she said. “I’m very proud and extremely humbled at the same time.”
Stone, 46, will be the first woman to lead the team in an Olympic games. She has been the head coach of the national team at the last two IIHF Women’s World Championships; her squads got the silver in 2012, gold in 2011.
She was chosen to lead the 2014 team because of her extensive experience in high-pressure games, both at the NCAA and international level, according to USA Hockey’s executive director, Dave Ogrean. He said Stone gives the team the best chance to top the Olympic podium, a feat that it hasn’t accomplished since the Nagano, Japan, games in 1998, when women’s ice hockey debuted as an Olympic sport.
“I will sleep well with [Stone] as the head coach of the [Olympic team],” he said.
Stone, who will lead the team in tournaments and international play leading up to the games, said that she understands the responsibility that comes with the position.
The U.S. women lost to Canada 2-0 in the gold-medal game at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Stone’s appointment was announced at USA Hockey’s 75th Gala on Friday, June 8.