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Shannon Desrosiers stepping down at Clarkson women’s hockey co-coach

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POTSDAM — Shannon Desrosiers has stepped down as co-head coach one month after helping lead Clarkson University’s women’s hockey team to the school’s first national championship.

Desrosiers, who shared the head job with her husband Matt, decided to step down Wednesday because she will be giving birth to the couple’s second child in June and she wants to spend more time with her children. Matt will remain as head coach and assistant Matt Kelly will be the top assistant and the school will conduct a national search for another assistant.

“I’m excited,” Shannon Desrosiers said. “I’ll actually be able to go trick-or-treating one year instead of having practice. I love the job and I love our team and I love our players.”

The couple served as co-coaches for the last six years, leading Clarkson to a 134-68-27 overall record. The Golden Knights won the school’s first national title in March, defeating two-time defending champion Minnesota 5-4 in the title game.

Shannon Desrosiers was also the only person to be part of Clarkson’s program from the beginning. She ended her playing career at St. Lawrence University in the 2002-03 season and worked as an assistant coach at Clarkson for Rick Seeley from 2003-2008.

Matt Desrosiers, who also played at SLU, was still playing professional hockey when Shannon started her career and he joined the Clarkson staff as an assistant with her two years before the couple became co-coaches.

“I think I knew I wanted to stay in hockey and it was one of those things where it felt like my (pro) career was winding down and the opportunity presented itself here at Clarkson,” Matt Desrosiers said. “Rick (Seeley) and (athletic director Steve Yianoukos) took a chance. It’s going to be a lot different. I haven’t coached with anyone else but Shannon.”

Shannon Desrosiers handled a lot of Clarkson’s administrative duties, including arranging the non-conference schedule. She worked on practice plans with Matt and the pair recruited together and she also led Clarkson’s forwards in practices and games.

The couple had a daughter, Brynlee, two years ago and have had to come up with creative ways to go on road trips during the season. Matt Desrosiers said their mothers have alternated watching Brynlee on road weekends.

“It was definitely tough,” Shannon Desrosiers said of road trips. “We’d leave early Thursday and get back on Sunday mornings. Even just doing video work at home at night, and all the stuff, was a challenge. It was so worth it and I’m ready for a new chapter. We were able to do it because we had so many support networks.”

Shannon Desrosiers has already thought of when it will really sink in that she’s no longer part of the coaching staff.

“The first practice when Matt says, “I’m off to practice’,” Desrosiers said. “I’ll become a super fan.”

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