Former goalkeeper Florence Schelling, 1st female general manager in men’s professional hockey

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Former Swiss female goalkeeper Florence Schelling was named managing director of one of the country’s best men’s professional teams, SC Bern, on Wednesday.

At 31, Schelling became the first woman to be raised to such a prestigious, senior staff position on a men’s professional hockey team in Switzerland.

A four-time Olympian, who won a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Games, Schelling’s recruitment comes after spending last year as coach of the Swiss women’s under-18 team. The move comes after SC Bern failed to defend its title by missing the playoffs and finishing ninth in the standings.

“For us, it was important to have a young, intelligent and visionary person. In our minds, it was irrelevant whether that person would be a man or a woman, “said team CEO Marc Luthi in a statement. “Most importantly, this person knows hockey. “

Schelling, who has spent part of his career playing in men’s professional leagues, also knows the Swiss league after being an analyst for Swiss television.

“I was surprised like all of you when I got the call from Marc Luthi,” said Schelling. “I knew immediately that I wanted to accept the challenge. My main goal is to do a good job and bring SC Bern to the top. “

Retired after the 2018 Olympics

Schelling spent his university years in the United States playing for Northeastern University, then played three years in Sweden. After making her international debut at the age of 15 at the 2004 World Women’s Championships, she retired after the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.

She joins a limited list of women who are making inroads into men’s hockey.

In 2018, the Toronto Maple Leafs hired former Canadian star Hayley Wickenheiser to serve as assistant director of player development. Last year, the Seattle NHL expansion team hired former United States captain Cammi Granato as a professional scout.

In Europe, Vicky Mantegazza succeeded her father as president of HC Lugano in Switzerland. Jenny Silfverstrand was named CEO of the Swedish Hockey League last week after holding the same position with the league’s Djurgarden Stockholm.

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