Olympic Gold Medalist Colleen Coyne Named Dean of Afternoon & Athletic Programs - Tilton School

Olympic Gold Medalist Colleen Coyne Named Dean of Afternoon & Athletic Programs

TILTON, NH – Head of School Derek Krein announced today that Colleen Coyne — a member of the gold medal-winning 1998  U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey team — will join Tilton as Dean of Afternoon & Athletic Programs. Coyne brings with her not just pioneer status in the world of women’s hockey, but also invaluable entrepreneurial and leadership experience as President of the Premier Hockey Federation’s Boston Pride, Director of Marketing & Product for Drivn, and Head of Marketing for Sparx Hockey. Along with her highlights with tech and sports startups, Coyne is a mental performance training evangelist with a passion for character development and has been tapped for her considerable expertise by the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) to serve on its Board.

“Colleen’s life pursuits — whether in the world of scrappy entrepreneurial start-ups or at the highest levels of international competition — are characterized by a relentless commitment to bringing out the best in others,” says Krein. “Her successes, in all the ways we might define that word, reveal a willingness to be vulnerable, an optimism that progress is always possible, and the courage to care for those alongside her first. A school will rise only as high as the faculty allows, and with Colleen now part of the Tilton School community, we will continue to set new standards of excellence for all our school programs.”

Coyne’s appointment further affirms the school’s commitment to personalized education and the interdependence of essential skills and character traits in preparing students to be life-ready. Both Krein and Coyne view the afternoon and athletic programs as unsurpassed opportunities to reinforce the transformative growth that happens across Tilton’s academic and community life curricula. In her new role at Tilton, Coyne will focus on creating environments that foster whole-person learning and growth in co-curricular activities and interscholastic athletics. Coyne has been a champion of these ideals in her leadership with PCA and in many years as a coach, including time with the USA Hockey Women’s National Team, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Women’s Hockey Team, and the North Shore Vipers of the New England Girls Hockey League (NEGHL).

“I am just excited to get started,” says Coyne. “After meeting with many of the faculty members here at Tilton, their collective energy and sincere love for this school is obvious. That, coupled with the enthusiasm and decades of leadership experience Derek brings with him, makes Tilton an exciting place to be right now. I look forward to learning from the students and staff alike and bringing my own experience and ideas to this historic community.”

Coyne (left) pictured during a Tilton Softball game with Head of School Derek Krein and Volunteer Assistant Coach Ken Hollingsworth.

A native of East Falmouth, MA, and a graduate of Tabor Academy in Marion, MA where she was a three-sport varsity athlete, Coyne has strong roots in New England and the independent school world. She went on to star for the UNH Women’s Hockey team in college while earning her Bachelor’s in Sociology. Prior to the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Coyne was a member of the USA Hockey Women’s National Team from 1992-98. She later served on the USA Hockey Board of Directors for six years. 

When Coyne joins the Tilton community full-time on July 1, 2024, longtime Director of Athletics Tara Brisson will shift to a new role supporting enrollment growth and external relations. She will also continue to guide the Girls Varsity Basketball program, which set a single-season program record for wins this past season en route to a victory at the first-ever Girls National Prep Basketball Championship. Brisson’s recruiting and relationship-building skills will be invaluable in this new capacity. “I’m excited for Tara’s eagerness to make this shift,” says Krein. “Our community and programs continue to strengthen across all areas of school life.”