United States women’s national hockey coach Bob Corkum abruptly stepped down from the job on Saturday, citing COVID-19 protocol concern. Taking over his position will be assistant coach Joel Johnson with less than three weeks until the world championships in Canada begin.”I was not comfortable with the protocols,” Corkum wrote in a text sent, per The Associated Press on Saturday. “It was a difficult decision to make, but one that I am at peace with. The team will not miss a beat. They are in great hands.Corkum did not specify what issues in particular he had with the protocols in place. He reportedly came to his decision on Friday while he was in Maine with his players preparing for the start of training camp ahead of the world championships in Nova Scotia. That competition is set to begin on May 6.”Bob put his heart and and soul into continuing to build on the legacy of our women’s national team program over the past three seasons, and we’re grateful for all he did,” USA Hockey’s director of women’s national team programs Katie Million said, per AP. “While he’s stepping away, he’ll always be a big part of the USA Hockey family and we’ll certainly miss him.”Corkum coached the U.S. team to its fifth consecutive world title in 2019.

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