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Harvard Women’s Ice Hockey Coach Announces Retirement Amid Allegations of Abusive Behavior

Harvard women's ice hockey head coach Katey Stone is retiring after 29 years leading the team.
Harvard women's ice hockey head coach Katey Stone is retiring after 29 years leading the team. By Mark Kelsey
By Sophia C. Scott, Crimson Staff Writer

Embattled Harvard women’s ice hockey head coach Katey Stone announced her retirement Tuesday morning in a Harvard Athletics press release.

Stone, who spent 29 years leading the Harvard women’s ice hockey program, is currently under investigation amid accusations that she fostered a toxic environment on the team, including making disparaging comments to players and other coaches, downplaying injuries, and displaying insensitivity to mental health issues. The allegations — published this year in the Athletic and the Boston Globe — date back more than 20 years.

The investigation, headed by New York-based law firm Jenner and Block, aimed to complete its review by the end of April, according to a former team member. However, no findings have been made public.

Harvard spokesperson Rachael Dane declined to comment on the status or outcome of the investigation.

In announcing her retirement from coaching, Stone thanked players and alumni for their contributions to the team.

“It has been my distinct pleasure to represent Harvard and lead our storied program for nearly three decades. The opportunity to coach and empower the amazingly talented women of Harvard Hockey has been both a personal and professional privilege,” Stone said. “The relationships fostered with my players over the years has been the very best part of my job. Their personal accomplishments both at Harvard and beyond, along with our shared achievements, will always be a point of great pride and inspiration for me.”

Stone added that a coach “knows in their heart” when a change is needed.

“The decision to retire from any profession is never an easy decision; for coaches, stepping down from the bench, leaving the program you have poured your heart and soul into for this many years, is especially hard,” she added. “I will continue to root for each and every young woman who has come through our beloved program. It has been an honor of a lifetime to be your coach.”

Athletic Director Erin McDermott expressed gratitude for Stone’s work on the team.

“We recognize the decades of service and commitment that Katey has given to this University and Athletic Department,” she said. “We thank her for all she has done to build the women's hockey program here, and we wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

Harvard Athletics began its search for a new head coach “immediately” following Stone’s announcement, according to the press release.

The press release made no mention of the allegations against Stone or the review into the women’s ice hockey team.

—Staff writer Sophia C. Scott can be reached at sophia.scott@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ScottSophia_.

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