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Peter Smith, who helped coach Canada to gold medal victories at both the Turin and Vancouver Olympics -- and guided McGill University to four national championships -- has announced his retirement as bench boss.
One of only three Canadian university women's hockey coaches to reach the 500-win plateau, the 67-year-old native of Lachine, Que., informed his McGill Martlets team of the decision in a teary-eyed announcement via a Zoom conference call on Tuesday evening.
Excluding a one-year sabbatical with the national team in 2009-10, Smith has spent two decades coaching at McGill and guided the Martlets to a berth at the U SPORTS Final Eight tournament in 17 of his 20 seasons, winning four gold medals, five silvers and five bronzes. He owns a career record of 534-229-33 in 796 games overall (.671) behind the McGill bench. In regular season play, his record stands at 276-70-11 in 357 contests for a lofty .789 winning percentage.
An eight-time recipient of Quebec university coach-of-the-year honours, Smith was also a three-time U SPORTS coach of the year, winning the award in 2003, 2008 and 2012.
Alyssa Cecere has been appointed interim head coach for the 2020-21 season. A fluently bilingual 32-year-old native of Brossard, Que., she has served as a full-time associate coach with the Martlets since 2014. In 2009, Cecere played for a Canadian university all-star squad that won gold at the FISU Winter Games in Harbin, China.