Waterloo, ON - After a nation-wide search, Wilfrid Laurier University has appointed Steve Martell as Head Coach of the Golden Hawk men's hockey program. Martell replaces Mark French who had left Laurier this summer to pursue a professional coaching opportunity in the East Coast Hockey League.

"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to lead the Wifrid Laurier Men's hockey program," said Steve Martell. "I look forward to building relationships and working with the academic, athletic, and alumni communities in reaching our goal of a national championship."

Martell comes to Laurier from the University of Calgary where he has been an assistant coach with the men's hockey program for the past four years while also pursing his Ph.D. studying the decision-making characteristics of high performance athletes. He has also served as an assistant coach with the Olympic Oval Extreme team and an apprentice coach for the Canadian Men's National team.

A graduate of St. Francis Xavier University, the right-winger played for the X-Men between 1994 and 1997. Before university, he had played in the Washington Capitals organization with the Baltimore Skipjacks (AHL) and the Hampton Roads Admirals (ECHL). Prior to his professional career, he spent four years with the London Knights (OHL), where he attained All-Star recognition. He has also represented Canada as a part of the Spengler Cup Champions in 1996.

"With Steve's extensive coaching and academic background, and as a former CIS Academic and Athletic All-Canadian, he was the ideal candidate to lead our men's hockey program," stated Peter Baxter, Laurier's Director of Athletics and Recreation. "We are extremely excited to have him join the Golden Hawk team."

The men's hockey team opens its season October 23rd at Varsity Arena versus the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

(Source: Ari Grossman, Laurier Sports Information)