UNB names new women's varsity hockey coach after discrimination battle

The University of New Brunswick has named a head coach for the women's varsity hockey team as the program is reinstated after a lengthy human rights battle.

Sarah Hilworth spent the last two seasons as head coach of the Broncos at Olds College in Alberta, where she built the women's hockey program up from its birth in 2015.

Prior to that, she spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the University of Alberta Pandas.

The university says Hilworth was hired after an "extensive search" that attracted more than 40 candidates from across North America.

UNB downgraded its women's varsity team to a sports club in 2008, citing funding issues, but former player Sylvia Dooley alleged the decision amounted to discrimination on the basis of sex.

Last year, the province's Labour and Employment Board agreed and ordered the school to reverse its decision.

The university later announced it would hire a coach, provide resources and equipment and begin recruiting players to create a competitive varsity team for the 2018-19 season.

UNB also agreed to produce a revised gender equity policy no later than this September.

With files from The Canadian Press