Courtesy Leah Rado, College of Saint Benedict
ST. JOSEPH, Minn. – The College of Saint Benedict athletic department is at full strength once again with the hiring of Nick Thibault as the school's new women's hockey coach.
“After a competitive and robust search, we are pleased to announce the selection of Nick Thibault as the next coach for CSB hockey,” said Mary Geller, CSB vice president for student development. “Nick’s knowledge and passion for the sport, his understanding of the Division III values and his commitment to developing women athletes was evident throughout the hiring process. He expressed a clear vision for the program and a successful track record, which leads us to have great confidence in his ability to coach the program. He joins an outstanding athletic department, and we look forward to welcoming him to Bennie Nation. We share in his excitement to take our program to a new level of performance.”
Thibault comes to Saint Benedict with a successful coaching background. For the past three seasons, he has served as the head coach for both the St. Cloud Cathedral girls’ soccer program and the St. Cloud Icebreakers girls’ hockey team. The Icebreakers went from 8-15-2 overall in 2014-15 to 18-6-1 and a second-place conference finish in Thibault’s first year at the helm in 2015-16, and the team won 17 games in each of his next two seasons. He is 54-22-4 in three seasons as head coach, and has coached five all-area, nine all-conference and 12 all-section athletes.
In his time with the Cathedral soccer team, Thibault took the team from a sub-.500 program to an undefeated conference championship team. In his first season in 2015, Cathedral finished 13-0-2 – the first undefeated season in program history – and won the conference title. He won at least eight games each of the next two seasons, and has had athletes earn all-area, all-conference, all-section and all-state awards. In three seasons, he went 34-15-3 overall and 25-5 in conference play at Cathedral.
Prior to his time as head coach at Cathedral and with the Icebreakers, Thibault served as an assistant coach for the Cathedral boys’ soccer team and the school’s boys’ hockey team, as well as the girls’ soccer team. He is a 2014 graduate of St. Cloud State, and received an MBA from Grand Canyon University in May. He played hockey for the Granite City Lumberjacks in the 2007-08 season.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining the College of Saint Benedict community,” Thibault said. “This is a terrific opportunity for me and a dream come true. I look forward to the challenge of building this program and instilling a culture of excellence and tradition. I would like to thank Mary Geller and Glen Werner for displaying confidence in my abilities and giving me the opportunity to lead CSB hockey.”
Thibault takes over a team that finished 2-21-1 in 2017-18, but returns three of its top four leading scorers. CSB Athletic Director Glen Werner said Thibault will start his new position in July.
“Nick comes to us with a solid background in athletics and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for coaching,” Werner said. “Nick has shown an ability to transform programs to get results, and I’m looking forward to welcoming him to campus to begin preparing for next season.”