CTR Home Internal  Relations and Communications Home About CTR Publication Schedule CTR Archives

November 22, 2001 Julie Healy: hockey's 'driving force'



Julie Healy

Julie Healy

Photo by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

by John Austen

Quick now, which Concordia Recreation and Athletics staff member has a prestigious Level 4 Coaching Certificate and spent her leave of absence from the university driving a Zamboni? If you answered Julie Healy, go to the head of the class.

Healy, the department’s administrative services and intercollegiate manager, is one of only five women in Canada to hold a level 4 certificate. There are only 25 coaches, men or women, across the country who have been able to attain that status.

After many successful years as a player and as an assistant coach to Les Lawton with the Lady Stingers, Healy decided she needed a leave of absence from Concordia. In the fall of 1999, she headed west to Calgary.

“It was just the right time to do it — I needed a break,” said Healy. “I went to coach the University of Calgary Dinosaurs and . . . um . . . drive the Zamboni.

“It was my choice, and believe it or not, it was hard work,” she continued. I really did want to know all about ice-making. Actually, my whole time in Calgary was an incredible education for me.”

The Alberta experience lasted eight months. “Calgary was nice and I enjoyed it, but I really missed Montreal,” she said. “My family is here and I had the opportunity to come back to Concordia.”

Healy returned in May 2000 and settled into her job at the Loyola Campus athletic complex. Her duties include overseeing budget operations, helping coaches manage their budgets, making sure teams and their coaches get their travel expenses paid, and attending or running various intercollegiate meetings. She also plays a big role in managing the Stingers Web site.

While Healy, 44, no longer helps coach the Stingers, she does coach the Montreal Wingstar of the National Women’s Hockey League. She is also an assistant coach with the National Women’s Under-22 team and just returned from a tournament in Vancouver.

“We played the Swedish national team — not the under-22s, but their national team — and beat them all three games,” Healy said. “We picked 23 players for the squad from a camp we held in August.”

The LaSalle native played for the Stingers for five years and graduated in 1983. She started coaching at Concordia in 1985, stopping just before the 1999-2000 season when she made the move out west. She has won numerous medals as a coach at both the provincial and national level, including a gold with the national team program in 1995 at the Pacific Rim Tournament in San Jose, California.

“I’m lucky to be able to do what I do,” she said. “I may not be coaching at Concordia right now, but Les and I still talk hockey all the time. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”