Penn State Hockey

Penn State women’s hockey: Nittany Lions lose assistant coach

With the team’s season opener just days away, Penn State women’s hockey assistant coach Gina Kearns was hired as the head coach at Neumann University on Monday.

Kearns served as an assistant coach at Neumann from 2009-11 before spending the last three years as an assistant at Penn State. She coached the forwards and served as the recruiting coordinator for the Nittany Lions.

“Gina has been my partner from day one in building this program,” Penn State coach Josh Brandwene said Tuesday. “We will miss her and we are so proud of her as she makes this next step on her career journey. She’s been an excellent influence on our student-athletes, and her positive contributions to this program will be felt for years to come. I wish her well and she will always be a part of our Penn State family.”

Kearns replaces Kelly Rider, who served as the Knights’ head coach last season. The Division III school near Philadelphia went 6-17-2 in 2013-14.

Penn State director of operations Alex Dawes will be an interim assistant coach this season.

Penn State, which has already begun preseason practice, opens its season Oct. 3 at Minnesota.