The coaching champion

Melody Davidson helped put women’s hockey on the map in Canada and around the world.

Melody Davidson (’86 BPE). Illustration by Jordan Carson.

As a trailblazing coach, mentor and administrator, Melody Davidson (’86 BPE) has played a monumental role in the evolution and development of women’s hockey in Canada and around the world. In doing so, she has become a role model for all those who aspire to coach at the highest level in any sport.

Growing up in small-town Alberta, Davidson’s options to play hockey were limited, but her love of the game inspired her to find creative ways to stay involved, including coaching her younger brother’s hockey team. After graduating from the U of A, she worked as a recreation director before taking a leave of absence from her job in 1995 to attend the National Coaching Institute at the University of Calgary.

After successful stints coaching men’s and women’s teams in Alberta and the United States, Davidson proved her mettle on the world stage, winning five gold and two silver medals as coach of Canada’s World Championship women’s hockey teams, as well as three straight Olympic gold medals (as assistant coach in 2002, and head coach in 2006 and 2001). Davidson now serves as general manager of Hockey Canada’s national women’s team programs.

Davidson is the 2010 recipient of of the Jack Donohue “Coach of the Year” Award, as well as a member of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity’s Wall of Influence, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. For her outstanding contributions to coaching and Canada’s national winter sport, Davidson was the recipient of a 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Alberta.


For almost as long as there’s been a Canada, there’s been a University of Alberta. Over the next year, in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, we’re proudly celebrating the people, achievements and ideas that contributed to the making of a confederation.