After leaving UMass,for a year to coach at Brown University, Lindsay got an unexpected chance to return, as head coach. Lindsay explained ”Colleen Harris left UMass the next year, So the AD at the time called me and asked if I’d be interested in returning as head coach. I don’t know if there’s ever a time that you actually admit to yourself you’re ready for it. So I thought about it and I wasn’t sure that I was ready, but said I’ll try and it certainly worked out. Lindsay reflected and added, “As an assistant coach I was not necessarily planning to be a head coach. I know some assistants do, but I did not, it's not a given. I was just trying to do the best I could on my own job. I don’t think you always realize what you’re learning and taking him from the head coach. I think I was naturally taking in what I wanted and leaving what I did not. A lot of my first years as a head coach were learning, and being honest, and admitting to my players that we are in this together. I’m going to make mistakes and so are you and we will get through this together. And I feel that once we establish that kind of trust then, they were on board.”
Lindsay continued and her narrative brought us back again to season one with the Pod. “UMass was my first head coaching job, and I came in kind of late. It was August I think, so most of the girls had been trickling in and there was a good month or two where they didn’t know who the head coach is going to be. As you can imagine that was unsettling for a lot of them. So my first order of business was that I had to find an assistant coach. I talked Alyssa Wohlfeiler (my teammate with the Huskies and the Whale) into coaching with me, We had a great time together and we won our first championship as a program that year too. And that was actually the first year of the Whale as well. I had broken my leg in the second game in Buffalo, so it turns out I broke my leg the night before my first day as a head coach. I think it was in the second.period. I’ve never been injured before so I didn’t know what happened. It hurt but I didn’t really think it was a break. We went to the hospital and got x-rays that night. They told me it was broken, and said to stay over for surgery and I’m like: No way, I’ve got to get back to Boston! So they essentially wrapped me up in an Ace bandage and I kept it elevated for the eight hour drive. It was my Dad whomended up driving me back to Boston. The next morning my Dad came back and picked me up for practice. I went into my AD’s office on crutches started coaching practice from the bench for the next three months. I was so nervous about my first day, on October 16th. I want to children’s hospital after that practice the first day and they casted it, and set a Wednesday surgery date. So it was back to work on Monday, on crutches on the bench. Wolfie really had her work cut out, since I needed her to demonstrate everything. She had to be the on ice person. It was hard for sure, looking back on it. I feel like I learned a lot though. I get choked up thinking about my players and how much trust they must have had in me, to be coaching from the bench and just be listening to me because ai could’nt show them. But most of them knew me from two years prior. So to go on to win in that year we had to deal with, was something special”
Moving on to talk about the origins of her present position ar Northeastern, Lindsay explained “The Northeastern position actually. came up after my third year at UMass. I had been there for six total seasons but last summer I got a text from Head Coach Dave Flint who asked me to call him when I got a chance. it was kind of random, on a Sunday, and I kind of had a feeling it was about that someone had left. I had interviewed for this position before, and looking back I realize I wasn’t ready. I’m glad Dave told me that, but he also said that I’d be the first one he’d call when there’s another opening. He said to put my time in and learn as much as I can, and he was sure would have this conversation again very soon. But I thought to myself, well don’t read too much into this, he may be just calling about an alumni event. So I called him and he got right into it and said Jeff Pellegrini is leaving and he’d love for me to take the spot. He said he knew I had a great gig over at UMass, and to take my time and think on it and let him know. So it was not an automatic for me that I’d take it, I had a good job I liked.”
Lindsay added this about her coaching resume and her decision “The UMass job for example, opened up because the coach went to Princeton, so that job kind of fell into my lap. The position at Brown University I applied for obviously, but then Colleen Harris leaving UMas ( with an illness) was an unfortunate situation that I’ve benefited from,which was a little hard for me because we were so close. The Northeastern job was just great timing.I really wasn’t ready to leave UMass Boston.We were starting to get get good players in, and the program was in a good place.I had literally poured my heart and soul into it, so it’s hard to just walk away from that. Not to mention the conversations that I had with recruits and their parents. They’d ask if I was going to be there and my answer was always: I am not applying for any other jobs, I have no plans on leaving. That was the truth but then I do leave, so that made for a couple of pretty tough phone calls. I called each of my players individually which was hard. They were scattered, as it was summer. But I met with Jane Morrisette, she was the first one I met with since she was around campus. So we had coffee and I broke the news to her that way. I was able to meet with like three or four other players after that, then the rest were on the phone.That was an exhausting four days or so that it took to get to everyone. I asked them not to tell their friends, and could they please just keep this to themselves, to make sure that it comes direct from me to each player. I didn’t want it that players found out in a text or something like that. I got to the last player and I had asked them all if that heard anything. They all said honestly no, they hadn’t heard, so that was pretty cool. I don’t regret the decision at all,and I’m having an awesome time at Northeastern. Dave Flint is amazing to work for and I’m learning a lot from him.He’s just a great boss and a mentor and the rest of our staff is just great to be around, and the players are awesome. It’s pretty cool to be a part of their lives,especially since I’ve kind of lived the same one here, so it’s been really fun.”
When Lindsay mentioned learning from Dave Flint, it occurred to Cetacean Nation to ask about the coaching influences in her life. She recounted “ It starts with Coach Kush my coach with the Washington Pride. He only coached me for three years, but I met him when I was 11, so I’ve been with him a long time. He’s always been just such a great sounding board, and he’s very smart and always has our best interest at heart. He knows what’s best for his players because he gets to know us as people. And he’s consistent, he’s the same all the time, I think that’s important. I don’t want my players ever guessing what are they are going to get for me. And obviously his hockey knowledge is unreal so I really learned a lot from Coach Kush. And then going into Northeastern Marge Schuler was the complete opposite of Kush, just completely different styles. I loved the energy she brought,and she was just very motivating.I think about her every day and about what I’m going to bring every da to my team. And actually my boss now, Dave Flint, I prayed for him for one year, because he was with the Olympic team one year, and I didn’t realize just how much I took from him until I came back to work for him last year. Things that I heard him say on the bench or in a meeting to the team, were things I’ve been saying the last seven or eight years in coaching so that was pretty cool revelation, I really had no idea:)"
"So although the biggest influence in my life would be my Dad, in coaching those three left a lasting mark for sure and I’m still in touch with all three of them which is awesome.” Cetacean Nation noted that Northeastern was ranked 4th in the Nation pre-season, so we asked Lindsay about her outlook for this season. She replied “We graduated a couple of good players and some really good leadership, so we will miss those personalities in the locker room for sure. But we brought in some really good players (none of that I had anything to do with they had actually committed for a few years) but I do get to reap the benefits of them arriving:) We have high expectations but we also know that after winning the Hockey East Championship last year, everyone will be gunning for us. We will get everybody’s best and we’re trying to send that message to the players that we can never take a night off. Not that we ever thought we could before, but especially now.I’m watching them right now as we speak at a captain’s practice and it’s so different. All of these girls are so good and they want to be here at this level.They just want to get better. And practice hard against each other. It’s just a little bit different now. “
And one of those different, talented players she has coached is our new #7 Jane Morrisette now a member of the Pod, just as her coach had been.Lindsay offered us some great remarks about Jane which appear in Jane’s interview on this website, and here is some more of what Coach Berman had to say about J-Mo. “I’ve known Jane a long time, I heiped to recruit her to UMass Boston. She showed me an email I had sent her after she said she was coming to school there. It was so funny just how excited we were to have a player of her caliber and the type of a person she was and also a local kid. We couldn’t wait to have herL So it’s really funny to see that email, and that she still had it.Jane is a phenomenal kid, she she has this raw God-given talent that not everybody has and I think it took her a little bit to realize that she had it. But once we kind of uncovered all these tools she finally put them all together and had a couple of really good years for us. Playing after she finished school was something she always wanted and she alwaysexpressed. I don’t know if she believed that it could happen but she kind of asked me every once in a while: Do you think I could keep playing? I knew that she could because I had played in both of the leagues the kid can skate with anybody. She’s one of the best skaters you’ll ever see, it’s just so fluid and so effortless.I was just hoping to install the confidence in herself and getting to her to bring her teammates along, and she became a phenomenal leader. We all go through that maturing process in college,and it was really fun for me to watch Jane grow from a high school kid and player to a college hockey player, who works and plays and balances her friends. She was there for her teammates, and she was an all encompassing student athlete. It was really really fun to be a part of her career and to kind of help her move on and continue playing and also now to coach which is what she also wanted it’s awesome, I learned a lot about myself and coaching through Jane”
Lindsay offered some great insight into Division III players as well, with a spot on Whale reference as she concluded her remarks about Jane, saying ”I am really excited for Jane, I think she’s going to open a lot of eyes. She probably has a D3 tag on her right now, and I can’t wait for everyone to see how good she is. I think a lot of growth and development happens with the players in college,For example, maybe someone like Emily Fluke wasn’t ready as a junior in high school, but she is now. I didn’t know her as a player at that point in her career, but I think it’s really cool that the D3 players get to show their stuff in the NWHL too. I think a lot of D3 players need to be just given a chance like an Emily Fluke or Jane Morissette, and this gives them an opportunity and they’ll run with it.” Cetacean Nation thanks our amazing OW #10 Lindsay Berman for sharing her story with us. We wish her luck against foe this upcoming season, and hope to be able to pick her brain again in the future. Fins Up Coach ‘Berm!