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Credit: Olivia Hokanson | Colgate Athletics

Longtime Colgate assistant chosen as fifth head coach in program history

HAMILTON  — After nearly a decade in an assistant coaching role, Stefan Decosse has been named Colgate University’s new head women’s hockey coach, Vice President and Director of Athletics Yariv Amir ’01 announced Tuesday.

Becoming the fifth head coach in program history, Decosse boasted a 202-69-20 record during his tenure as an assistant. He served the past nine seasons behind the bench for the Raiders, helping lead Colgate to two NCAA Frozen Fours and four ECAC championships.

“Coach Decosse has worked tirelessly over the past nine years to help build Colgate women’s hockey into a nationally-recognized program,” said Amir. “He has a deep understanding of the culture and values of both Colgate and the women’s hockey program, and he and his family have been pillars in the Hamilton and Colgate communities. We look forward to him continuing to guide our student-athletes to success on and off the ice.”

Decosse took on a number of different roles as an assistant coach, including stints as the director of recruiting, director of player development, and program liaison. Since 2019 he has ushered in five recruiting classes ranked in the top five nationally (, including a 2023 class rated first among all 36 NCAA Division I women’s hockey programs.

“I am honored to have been selected as the new head coach of Colgate women’s hockey,” Decosse said. “Having called Hamilton home for the past nine years, I know how special this place is. The unwavering support and dedication of the staff, faculty, alumni and student-athletes has been instrumental in getting Colgate women’s hockey to where it is today.”

“I am fully committed to preserving that winning culture here in Hamilton while finding new ways to propel the program forward on and off the ice.”

Athletics Success

Decosse helped place 23 Colgate student-athletes on ECAC Hockey All-League teams since his first full season as an assistant coach in 2016-17. A total of seven Raiders have reached first-team All-League honors during his tenure, while four student-athletes have been named AWCHA All-Americans. Decosse contributed to the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Frozen Four and Colgate’s only national championship appearance in 2018, leading to the nomination of three All-USCHO selections. In total, he has coached nine All-USCHO Raiders.

His recruiting classes have also succeeded at the collegiate level with Decosse mentoring seven ECAC Hockey All-Rookie selections and two Rookies of the Year in 2021 and 2023.

“I’m thrilled for Stefan, his family and of course the women’s hockey program that he is being named as the new head coach at Colgate,” said former Colgate head coach Greg Fargo, who recently took a position as the leader behind PWHL New York’s bench. “His passion for Colgate, infectious energy, and dedication to our student-athletes have been key ingredients to our recent success, including four straight ECAC Championships. Stefan is an exceptional recruiter and a brilliant teacher of our style of play. I can’t wait to see the exciting future he will bring to Colgate. This program is in great hands with Stefan at the helm.”

Academic Success   

Decosse has had a hand in more than 150 ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team honorees, including a program-record 23 in 2022-23. His Raiders have earned national recognition with 34 AHCA All-American scholars and an NCAA Elite 90™ award winner at last year’s Frozen Four. Decosse also mentored a winner of Colgate University’s prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship in 2024.

Olympians, International and Pro Raiders

Under Decosse’s leadership, 22 Colgate alumni have been drafted into professional women’s hockey leagues. Six Raiders were selected in the 2024 PWHL Draft, the second-most of any collegiate program in the country. Internationally, 12 of Decosse’s Raiders have played for their country’s U18 teams while 13 have suited up on U22 squads. Decosse has also coached eight student-athletes who made national team rosters with an additional five attending international development camps. Three Olympians have played under Decosse in maroon and white.

Playing Career and Personal Background

Decosse was a two-time captain of the SUNY Geneseo men’s ice hockey team where he was named to the SUNYAC All-Academic team every year of his career. He later received his Master of Arts at York University in Toronto, printing three papers in peer-reviewed academic publications.

“I am grateful to Yariv Amir and the members of the search committee for the opportunity to serve this storied hockey program and university,” said Decosse. “I also must extend my sincere thanks to my wife, Erin. She has supported me every step of the way in this journey. I also have the greatest appreciation and thanks to Greg Fargo for his mentorship and guidance throughout my career. I am beyond excited to serve a program that has meant so much to me and my family.”

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