COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State women’s hockey head coach Nadine Muzerall has welcomed familiar faces to the Buckeye bench ahead of the 2022-23 season with the promotion of Kelsey Cline to assistant coach and the hiring of Lauren Spring as director of operations. Both women played for Muzerall, Cline at Minnesota and Spring at Ohio State, before joining her in off-ice roles.
Cline has already served one season on the Ohio State staff as director of operations for the program during the 2021-22 campaign. An integral member of the Buckeyes’ national championship season, Cline was responsible for managing team video, business development and operations for the Buckeyes.
“I’m really excited to add Kelsey Cline to our coaching staff,” Muzerall said. “It’s always great when you can hire your former teammates because they know who you are, your expectations and the bar that is set. Cline is extremely hard working and works countless hours but does it because she wants to and wants to make the student-athlete experience better. She has a respectable background in hockey, winning two national championships with me at Minnesota and I’m just really excited to get the chance to hire former players.”
On the ice, Cline had an incredibly successful playing career at Minnesota, winning two national championships, two WCHA regular-season titles and a WCHA Final Faceoff championship as both a defenseman and forward. She played under Muzerall, who was an assistant coach for the Gophers at the time, from 2013-17 and skated in every game (161) for her career with five goals and 24 assists for 29 points.
“I couldn’t be more excited to move into the role of an assistant coach under the leadership of Coach Muzerall,” Cline said. “What Coach Muzerall has accomplished over the course of her career shows that she is truly a special person who has proven to be a winner and an incredibly well-respected leader. Coach Muzerall has poured so much into building the most elite program in the country, all while being an amazing mom, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be able to work alongside and continue to learn from someone as impressive as her.”
Following her 2017 graduation from Minnesota with a degree in marketing and a minor in human resources, Cline served as the associate head coach at Jefferson High School for three years. She also served in the same position at The Blake School for the 2020-21 season.
“I am so excited to continue to work with and learn from our industry-leading support staff and work together to continuously provide our athletes a first-class experience,” Cline said. “From the leadership of President Johnson and Veronica Meinhard to Gene Smith, Janine Oman, and Nadine, there is no other group of leaders that are as elite and dedicated to continuously keeping Ohio State at the pinnacle of college athletics. I cannot thank each of those people enough for providing me this opportunity and allowing me to be part of keeping Ohio State Athletics and our women’s ice hockey program the best in the country. I am incredibly proud to be part of the Buckeye family and am excited for all there is to come for the program.”
Spring was a four-year letterwinner for the Buckeyes from 2014-2018 and co-captained the Buckeyes her senior season. The Kelowna, B.C. native was an instrumental in setting the culture of the Ohio State program under Muzerall, helping the team to its first NCAA Tournament and Frozen Four appearances in program history. She finished her collegiate career with 44 points on 15 goals and 29 assists.
“I’ve always wanted to hire a Buckeye to my staff, and I am so excited to welcome Lauren Spring back to our team,” Muzerall said. “Cline and I are transplants, but Lauren is blood. I believe it’s important to the team to have one of their own and someone who has gone through the program on staff. Lauren played an incredibly important part in getting our program to where it is today, both on and off the ice, and I am looking forward to working with her in this new role.”
Outside of hockey, Spring was an involved member of the community and an accomplished student. She was named a top-five finalist for the 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award after being named one of 15 finalists for the award in 2017. In the classroom, she earned All-WCHA Academic Team honors all three years she was eligible and back-to-back WCHA Scholar-Athlete honors for her junior and senior campaigns.
“It is a privilege to be afforded this opportunity and see it come full circle,” Spring said. “First as a student-athlete and now a staff member with the ability to contribute back to a program that offered me countless positive experiences which have allowed me to get to where I am today. It is a true testament to Coach Muzerall and the positive impacts she has on her players, the people within the program and all that interact with her at the university.”
Following her graduation from Ohio State in 2018 with a degree in physical education, she went on to become at physical education specialist in Calgary, Alba. She then returned to Ohio State in 2020 to pursue a master’s degree in sport management, which she obtained the following year. Currently, Spring is working towards her doctorate in kinesiology, specializing in sport management.
“It has always been about the people, the tradition and the excellence,” Spring said. “I can’t wait for the season to get started as it feels like I am back where I am meant to be: back home, back in Buckeye Nation.”