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The Alliance of Women’s Coaches posted on Facebook its intent to stand by Coach Shannon Miller (USA)

The University of Minnesota Duluth on Monday officially launched its search to find a new women’s hockey coach and cited several national advocacy groups that would help them in the search, but on Tuesday one of those national organizations issued a statement of support for outgoing coach Shannon Miller.

The Alliance of Women’s Coaches posted on Facebook its intent to stand by Miller throughout this process and called on others to pay attention to her fight.

“Every woman who coaches any sport at any level needs to pay attention to what is happening to Shannon Miller at the University of Minnesota Duluth,” the post read. “Discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation is a very real experience for many in the coaching profession. The Alliance stands with Shannon Miller as she courageously speaks her truth.”

Search committee chairperson and UMD assistant athletic director Abbey Strong said Monday that she had been working with various organizations, including the Alliance, to find a replacement for Miller as head women’s hockey coach.

UMD officials maintained that position on Wednesday, saying they reached out to the Alliance via email last week but were told after Strong’s comments that the organization would be standing behind Miller.

UMD says it will continue to welcome the Alliance’s input throughout the search process, but that the athletic department can’t get help from an organization that does not want to give it.

The Tucker Center for Research was also cited by Strong, but that organization said Wednesday it focuses on research and does not get involved with individual coaching searches.

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