Florence Schelling has been named the general manager of SC Bern of the National League in Switzerland. At just 31, she is the first female GM in top-level men’s professional hockey.
“In the evaluation process, we ended up with Florence Schelling,” SC Bern CEO Marc Luthi told the media outlet Berner Zeitung. “We came to the conclusion: Florence is the person we are looking for and want. Yes, Florence will be a pioneer, probably worldwide in her new role. But she’s young, fresh, she’ll bring a new perspective and break up existing structures.”
Previously, Schelling became the first — and only — woman to play in the Swiss Men’s National B League.
Schelling, a Zurich native, is the longtime goaltender of the Swiss national women’s team. She represented Switzerland in 11 World Championships and is a four-time Olympian. She helped Switzerland win a bronze medal in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and was named the tournament MVP. Schelling retired from professional hockey in 2018.
Schelling played NCAA hockey for Northeastern University, where she was a Patty Kazmaier Award finalist. She also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Linkoping University in Sweden.
SC Bern won the National League championship in 2019, but this season finished in ninth place out of 12 teams. Schelling will take over for Alex Chatelain, who had been GM since 2015 and won three championship titles with Bern. Chatelain will remain in the organization in a different role.
“After talking to the SCB officials, it was clear: I want to take on this challenge,” Schelling told the Swiss outlet SRF.