Kim McCullough, MSc, YCS
1. Where did you play NCAA hockey?
I played my NCAA hockey for Dartmouth College - which is a Division 1 Ivy League school.
2. What was your best memory from your experience there?
We had a lot of success during my time there. We won 2 Ivy Leagues Championships, 2 ECAC Championships and went to the NCAA Frozen Four twice. But my favorite memory was when we beat Harvard at Harvard the day that they raised their championship banner to the rafters. They were our biggest rivals - so it was very satisfying.
3. What team and league were you playing for when you committed?
I played for the Toronto-Leaside Wildcats. I played at the Intermediate AA level - which has since been changed to the Provincial Women's Hockey League. It is the highest level of hockey for high school aged players in North America.
4. What challenges did you face in the recruiting process? and what are the challenges your athletes are facing today in the recruiting process?
Back when I was going through the recruiting process, not a lot of Canadian players were playing down in the NCAA. When I went down to Dartmouth in 1998, only 1 other player on our team was Canadian. By the time I graduated, over half of the team was Canadian. The challenge I faced in the whole process was that I didn't know anyone who had been through the process and therefore didn't have anyone I could look to to help me navigate through the process. I had no idea where to start! Nowadays, I would say the biggest challenge is still the same. Players still have no idea where to start.
5. What is the biggest thing female hockey players need to be ready for to succeed as a student-athlete?
Be a great student first. College coaches are looking for the triple threat - also known as the 3As - Academics, Athletics and Attitude. If you haven't got all 3 of those things covered, odds are they can find another player who fills all three of those criteria.
6. What questions do your athletes ask the most? and How do you answer them?
The biggest one is how to get started. I tell them to start doing their research. Looking at the websites, researching the academic programs they are interested in, and starting to figure out what they are looking for from schools in terms of academics, athletic programs and the social atmosphere of the school.
7. What are you up to now?
Now I am the Director and Founder of a company called Total Female Hockey. Our entire goal is to help young female hockey players realize their dreams of playing at the college hockey level and beyond. We work with them on and off the ice, provide guidance on nutrition and mental performance, and help them with the scholarship process. I absolutely love what I do - helping players move closer to their dreams is such a rewarding thing!
8. What advice can Kim McCullough give junior and prep hockey players about pursuing the NCAA?
Be the best student possible. Be proactive - don't wait for schools to contact you, do the research first. Work hard off the ice - don't just focus on your on-ice skills - get your off-ice training, nutrition and mental game in order. Seek out help from people who've been through it and can share their experience and expertise with you.
For more information about Kim and Total Female Hockey, please contact Kim at
Kim McCullough, MSc, YCS