WIH: Assistant coach Caty Flagg making impact on Colonels

The Colonels have made a lot of changes for this 2022-23 season, not only on the ice, but also behind the scenes as well.

Wilkes hired an entirely new coaching staff for the women’s ice hockey team at the start of the year, including assistant coach Caty Flagg.

Flagg, who is only 24 years old, admits that it was an interesting experience beginning to coach a team as the players are so close to her own age. She appreciates how welcoming the team was to the new coaching staff this season.

“They (the players) have been awesome at listening and respecting me, even though I am practically the same age as them,” said Flagg.

Previous to coaching, Flagg played

the position of goaltender professionally for the Buffalo Beauts of the Premier Hockey League. While playing for the Beauts, Flagg also volunteered as a coach for the Islanders Hockey Club, one of the top-ranked girl’s hockey programs in the Northeast.

Flagg noted that she chose the position of goaltender growing up as she found it an important role on the ice as you can control the game.

Those previous experiences of playing at different levels of hockey have helped her transition from player to coach in the most effective way at Wilkes.

Flagg’s role with the Colonels is to work primarily with the defensive players on the team as it is her area of expertise.

“Defensively speaking, she has helped us improve our game tremendously,” said senior defenseman Abby Miller.

Flagg spends her days helping the players improve on the ice by assisting at practices. When she is not on the ice, she is breaking down film or looking for other ways to help the team develop.

The team feels the shift from previous seasons in the coaching staff and energy, expressing that it has been nothing but positivity this year.

“She (Flagg) has the most infectious energy,” said senior defenseman Abbey Barcless. “She’s always smiling, laughing, and full of positivity”.

The shift in the team is evident, not only to the players but to Flagg and the entire coaching staff.

“Seeing the overall improvement from the team has been awesome,” said Flagg. “Even just from the start of the season until now, it has been a drastic improvement for them as individuals with their skills, and as a whole team

the team play and systems have done a complete 180.”

The team has experienced ups and downs throughout the season, however, they have remained resilient.

“No matter the situation they always come back stronger and ready to go,” said Flagg.

Both Miller and Barcless acknowledged that Flagg has made a positive impact on the team and their playing ability.

“(Flagg) is a great addition to the program and playing for her is an honor,” said Barcless.

Under Flagg and the coaching staff, Wilkes has more wins this season than they have had in any previous season. Bringing in this new coaching staff and adding energy can tremendously affect how a team plays, and it seems Flagg’s hiring has emphasized that.