Vicky Sunohara keeps adding to impressive legacy at University of Toronto

The Canadian hockey legend has a shot at her third OUA title as Varsity Blues head coach on Saturday.

University of Toronto head coach Vicky Sunohara will have a chance to add to her legacy Saturday night in the McCaw Cup. (Photo: Howard Bailey/Centennial College) 

TORONTO – The University of Toronto women’s hockey team is having one of its most special seasons under the leadership of coach Vicky Sunohara, not only because of the strong possibility of winning the McCaw Cup, but also because of the adversity they have overcome so far.

Despite the challenging conditions and unforeseen circumstances that have befallen the Varsity Blues, the coach has managed to keep them focused on their title quest and competing at the highest level possible. Leading by example, she didn’t let a foot injury keep her from coaching the team.

“I started with a broken foot. I didn’t get on the ice until the end of October,” Sunohara said. “It was very stressful for me not being able to be on the ice… not being able to talk to people after a drill. It is hard to run drills when you are on the bench.”

One of the most striking aspects of Sunohara is her sense of belonging at the University of Toronto, where she won back-to-back OUA titles as a player in 1991 and 1992 and has won two more as a coach since returning to her alma matter in 2011. The Scarborough, Ont., native remains committed to the university despite having the credentials to coach at a higher level as one of Canada’s best ever players with 11 international medals, including two Olympic gold, and three OUA coach of the year awards on her resume.

“I love what I do, I love working with the University of Toronto and the student-athletes,” she said.

“She’s very motivational, she always tells us about the times she’s been criticized in the past and how she dealt with it,” said captain Taylor Trussler.

In addition to being a role model and inspiration to her players, resourcefulness and creativity are fundamental aspects of Sunohara’s coaching style.

“She brings in tons of outside hockey experts, we had Cassie Campbell come in this year… there’s tons of resources that we utilize outside of the varsity,” Trussler added.

Sunohara has her sights set on more history at the University of Toronto, with a shot at her third OUA title in 13 years Saturday night against the Waterloo Warriors. But above all, she wants to leave a legacy in each of the athletes she coaches.

About this article

Posted: Mar 9 2024 2:00 pm
Filed under: Hockey Sports