Colorado College’s Mike Haviland delved into his past to hire an assistant with 25 years of coaching experience.
Gene Reilly, who graduated from Elmira (N.Y.) College a year before Haviland played there, is the final assistant to join the program under the new hockey coach.
Reilly has won 14 professional, college and junior titles as either an assistant or head coach. He has eight years of college assistant experience including the 1999 NCAA championship with Maine.
“He has won at all levels,” Haviland said. “Gene is a guy with an attention to detail and passion that is second to none.”
Reilly worked the past two seasons as a professional scout for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes but left for the chance to work with Haviland.
“The most important thing for me is to be with quality people and Mike is a quality person with a winning track record,” Reilly said in a press release. “I really enjoyed my time in Carolina and the wonderful people who I worked with in the pro scouting staff.”
He spent 2008-12 as an assistant coach/director of player development with Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg, where he was involved in four titles.
His college experience includes serving as an assistant with Maine (1998-2001), Harvard (2003-4) and Northeastern (2004-8).
While at Maine, the Springfield, Mass. native, 52, took over as interim coach at the start of the 1999-2000 season when the late Shawn Walsh was battling cancer.
Reilly left to be an assistant with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins for the 2000-01 season and Binghamton the next.
“There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes with practices, scouting, and watching tapes; Gene stepped in and did a tremendous job,” then-Griffins coach Bruce Cassidy said after being named the 2002 AHL coach of the year.
He returned to the college ranks at Harvard for one season and spent the next four rebuilding the Northeastern program.
His experience prepares him well for CC, Haviland said.
“He has developed guys and understands how academics work at CC,” he said. “He understands the college game’s ins and outs very well.”
Reilly coached from 1988-98 in the Eastern Junior Hockey League, winning three championships. He played two seasons in Sweden, including one as player-coach.
Some of the future professionals who played for him include Bill Guerin, Scott Lachance, Ron Hainsey, and Chris Clark.
“I think he is a great fit for the college and the staff,” Haviland said.
The new director of hockey operations position is filled with a July 15 announcement identifying the recent former CC player scheduled. All three finalists for that job are former Tigers, Haviland said.
Former CC standout RJ Enga, 42, was hired as an assistant two weeks ago. Haviland, 46, was hired in May after longtime coach Scott Owens resigned on April 6 following a 7-24-6 season.
Colorado College’s Mike Haviland delved into his past to hire an assistant with 25 years of coaching experience.
Here is the RPI fan blog’s look at the Denver Pioneers.
New Lake Superior State coach Damon Whitten is adding several players this offseason.
The finalists for the Bemidji State women’s job were announced. The job came open after former Tiger Steve Sertich retired this offseason.
Senior track and field star Annette Eichenberger and senior golfer Kyle Westmoreland were named female and male athlete of the year, respectively.
Senior diver Rachel Kennedy earned the scholar-athlete award while senior wrestler Devin Hightower won the athletic leadership award lacrosse’s Erik Smith, the athletic achievement award.
Here is the academy’s write-up on McKenzie:
ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE: Adam McKenzie became one of the most decorated Falcon hockey players, both on and off the ice, in school history. A three-time all-Atlantic Hockey Association selection, he was also a three-time academic all-conference selection, a two-time academic all-district honoree and a 2013 Academic All-American. McKenzie carries a 3.89 GPA as an aeronautical engineering major and was the No. 1 cadet in the aeronautical engineering major. A second-team all-conference defenseman and team captain as a senior, he helped lead the Falcons to a regular-season conference championship, two conference tournament titles and two NCAA tournament appearances. He concluded his career ranked 12th in school history in points by a defenseman.
Former Denver associate coach Steve Miller resigned from his coach/GM role with the USHL expansion Madison Capitols after he ““decided to return to Colorado and pursue other interests at this time.”
His family lives in Denver so he may be interested in commuting to Colorado Springs for work at CC as an assistant. The Madison Capitols announced Luke Strand was hired to replace him.
Strand, 41, spent this past season as the general manager for the Sioux City Musketeers where he helped lead the team to a 38-19-3 record, equaling the team record for victories in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present). He was previously the coach of the Musketeers for two seasons (2009-11) and compiled an overall 58-47-15 record which included a playoff berth in 2011.
Two college hockey hockey players were diagnosed recently with cancer. Here is a link to a fundraiser for Alaska-Fairbanks player Justin Woods with more details on his fight here. Here is an article on Providence junior Drew Brown.
In today’s no-surprise news, Union coach Rick Bennett received a contract extension after winning the NCAA title.
Former Tiger Cody Lampl is enjoying his part-time minutes in the AHL.
Three National Collegiate Hockey Conference players were recognized for their academic performance this past season.
St. Cloud State senior forward Nic Dowd, Denver sophomore forward Gabe Levin and North Dakota junior defenseman Nick Mattson garnered Capital One Academic All-District honors, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced. The trio was named to the academic all-district men’s at-large team.
There is a new college hockey head job opening after Princeton’s coach resigned.
North Dakota announced its 2014-15 player leadership with Stephane Pattyn as captain. Connor Gaarder, Mark MacMillan and Michael Parks will serve as assistant/alternate captains.
Bob Fallen is the new president/commissioner of the USHL, replacing Skip Prince. Fallen begins his new job on June 1.
It convinced him the private school could be a good fit. Fans, alumni and players hope the Stanley Cup-winning assistant coach’s hopes are proven right after the hire was announced on Friday.
Haviland coached former Tigers defenseman Gabe Guentzel in Norfolk during the 2012-13 season and worked with Capitals blue-liner Jack Hillen during a rehab stint with Washington’s American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey, Pa. this past season.
Former CC center Mark Cullen was one of his assistant captains in Norfolk during the 2005-6 season.
“Meeting those three showed me the kind of players and men CC produces,” Haviland said. “When the job came open, I reached out quickly. CC is one of the top Division I programs in the country and I thought it would be a great fit.”
Haviland, whose 15 years in the pro coaching ranks include serving an assistant with the 2010 NHL champion Chicago Blackhawks, is the 14th coach in the 75-year-old program’s history on Friday.
The 46-year-old replaced former longtime coach Scott Owens, who resigned after 15 seasons at his alma mater following a 7-24-6 campaign. Haviland beat out current CC assistants Joe Bonnett and Eric Rud, among others, for the job, which came open in early April.
The new coach signed a multi-year deal with CC late Thursday and declined to disclose financial details, as per college policy, when interviewed Friday morning.
“They certainly took care of me and my family,” he said. He and his fiancée Kristin have a blended family with six children.
The likely pay range is $200,000 to $275,000 a year, judging from the top five reported salaries in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
Haviland has coaching experience at the Division III level. As an assistant with small, liberal arts-oriented Elmira (N.Y.) College, he helped his alma mater to a 51-12-2 record and two ECAC Division III championships from 1996-1998. He recorded 51 points (27 goals) in 23 games during his final season with the Soaring Eagles.
He said that experience taught him how to keep the student part of student-athlete at the forefront.
“I want to help develop them on and off the ice,” he said.
It was one reason school president Jill Tiefenthaler signed off on the hire.
“We are very fortunate to find a candidate who is both a teacher and mentor, as well as someone who will take our program in exciting new directions,” she said. “Mike is dedicated to his players and excited about being part of our community. He will be a transformational motivator and leader for our student athletes.”
Administrators also hope for considerable success on the ice.
“We have aspirations of winning national championships, and I am confident we have found the right coach to turn our vision into reality,” athletic director Ken Ralph said.
“My intention is to win a national championship and I believe we will,” Haviland said.
This past season, Haviland led the Hershey Bears to ninth place in the Eastern Conference, just two points shy of the playoffs despite a 39-27-5-5 record in his first year at the helm. A Manhattan native who grew up in Middletown, N.J., Haviland served as assistant in charge of forwards in Norfolk the previous season (37-34-4-1).
Before then, he was a Blackhawks assistant in charge of special teams from 2008-12. The Original Six franchise went 187-101-40 over those four years and hoisted the 2010 Stanley Cup. In 2012, following his dismissal from Chicago, he was a finalist for the vacant Capitals job that went to the now-fired Adam Oates.
“Mike has won championships at multiple levels and has always produced winning programs,” Ralph said.
Haviland spent four seasons coaching (172-81-325) the ECHL’s Trenton Titans (2004-05) and Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies (2001-04) and won two league titles (2003, 2005).
He moved up to AHL Norfolk (93-51-10-6) for two seasons (2005-7). The then-Blackhawks affiliate broke single-season wins and points records, which earned him the 2007 Coach of the Year award.
He moved on to Rockford (Ill.) when the Blackhawks affiliated with that team. The IceHogs went 44-26-4-6 and advanced through two playoff rounds that season before he joined Chicago as an assistant.
As a player, Haviland was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the 1990 NHL draft. His experience includes AHL Binghamton (1989-90) and the ECHL (1990-91) with Richmond and Winston-Salem.
The price reduction for season tickets was made since CC had a difficult time scheduling home games because of previous agreements and other schools’ availability.
“We were light on home games and we wanted to be fair to our fans,” CC athletic director Ken Ralph said.
The National Collegiate Hockey Conference member lowered its season ticket prices from 10 to 18 percent depending on the seat’s location if purchased before June 27, CC associate athletic director Scott Lowenberg said. Season ticket renewal forms will be mailed out May 19-23.
The light schedule prompted CC to book the USA U-18 national team for Dec. 27-28 with the second contest counting as one of the allowed 34 regular-season games under NCAA rules. None of the three home exhibitions this season count in the team’s record or in the Pairwise rankings.
A scheduling conflict with The Broadmoor World Arena affected the Gold Pan rivalry series. Instead of playing a home-and-home series against Denver in November, the foes will play a single game on Nov. 14 at Denver with three games in 14 days (Feb. 7, 20 and 21). The CC hosts DU for its only game that weekend on Feb. 7 and again on Feb. 20.
CC travels to Air Force on Nov. 22 to determine ownership of the annual Pikes Peak Trophy after hosting Big Ten Wisconsin the night before.
The USA U-18 exhibitions are followed by the second of two tough road trips to the East Coast. CC plays two games at Providence Jan. 3-4 and a single game on Tuesday, Jan. 6 at new Hockey East member UConn. The first trip is Oct. 24-25 against Boston College on Friday and New Hampshire on Saturday.
The Tigers open play with an exhibition against Canada’s McGill University on Sunday, Oct. 5 followed by the season and home opener against Alabama Huntsville Oct. 10-11. CC opens NCHC play at home against North Dakota Oct. 17-18.
Individual ticket prices remain the same except for rows A-D in the upper bowl. Those went up to $18 from $16.50. Season tickets for the lower bowl center and sides between the goal lines are sold out as are the upper bowl rows A-D seats.
The upcoming season features games against six NCAA Tournament teams. The Tigers will face foes from five of the six leagues, including four games against Hockey East schools.
CC 2014-15 schedule
Subject to change, all times MT
Home games bolded
Oct. 5, McGill University (exhibition), 6:07 p.m.
Oct. 10-11, Alabama-Huntsville (Homecoming), 7:37, 7:07 p.m.
Oct. 17-18, North Dakota, 7:37, 7:07 p.m.
Oct. 24, at Boston College, 5 p.m.
Oct. 25, at New Hampshire, 5 p.m.
Oct. 31-Nov. 1, OPEN
Nov. 7-8, at Miami, both 5:07 p.m.
Nov. 14, at Denver, 7:37 p.m.
Nov. 21, Wisconsin, 7:37 p.m.
Nov. 22, at Air Force, 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 28-29, OPEN
Dec. 5-6, at Minnesota-Duluth, both 6:07 p.m.
Dec. 12-13, at Western Michigan, both 5:07 p.m.
Dec. 27, USA U-18 (exhibition), 7:07 p.m.
Dec. 28, USA U-18 (exhibition), 6:07 p.m.
Jan. 3-4, at Providence, 5 p.m.
Jan. 6, at UConn, 5:05 p.m.
Jan. 16-17, Nebraska-Omaha, 7:37, 7:07 p.m.
Jan. 23-24, at North Dakota, 6:37, 6:07 p.m.
Jan. 30-31, St. Cloud State, 7:37, 7:07 p.m.
Feb. 7, Denver, 7:07 p.m.
Feb. 13-14, Miami, 7:37, 7:07 p.m.
Feb. 20, Denver, 7:37 p.m.
Feb. 21, at Denver, 7:07 p.m.
Feb. 27-28, Western Michigan, 7:37, 7:07 p.m.
March 6-7, at Nebraska-Omaha, 6:37, 6:07 p.m.
March 13-15, NCHC quarterfinals TBA
March 20-21, NCHC Frozen Faceoff (Target Center, Minneapolis) TBA
The College Hockey News recognized Union coach Rick Bennett as its Coach of the Year despite an ugly post-game incident against RPI that led to his suspension. CHN also announced its Rookie of the Year.
Matt Perry (Bismarck Bobcats) committed to Air Force for 2015-2016.
Miami’s top-three scorers will return next season and the RedHawks are scheduled in to bring some serious size for their blue-line corps. Preseason NCHC predictions will be a crap shoot once again.
While last year’s Frozen Four featured three first-time appearancess, this year’s field is full of familiar faces. North Dakota had a two-year Frozen Four absence, which qualifies as the longest among this group. Boston College, Minnesota and Union were all in the Frozen Four in 2012 in Tampa, Fla.
Union will be making its second Frozen Four appearance. Each team has players with Frozen Four experience, as 39 players are in their second Frozen Four (Union-14, BC-12, Minnesota-11, North Dakota-2).
Most Frozen Fours (Last appearance)
24 – Boston College (2012)
24 – Michigan (2011)
21 – Boston University (2009)
21 – Minnesota (2012)
20 – North Dakota (2011)
Three teams in the field were No. 1 seeds in their NCAA regional: Boston College, Minnesota and Union. It’s the fourth time in the 16-team tournament (which began in 2003) that three No. 1 seeds have reached the Frozen Four, and the first since 2010 in Detroit.
North Dakota made the Frozen Four as a No. 4 seed, the seventh No. 4 seed in the past seven years to get this far. From 2003-07, no No. 4 seeds reached the Frozen Four.
Here is the USA Hockey weekly poll with Minnesota at No. 1 followed by Union, Boston College, UMass-Lowell and No. 5 North Dakota, who moved up from No. 13 before the tourney. USCHO.com did not release one this week.
Western Michigan junior defenseman Jordan Oesterle left school early to sign with Edmonton.
The Denver administration was pleased by Pioneers coach Jim Montgomery’s first season.
Interestingly enough, in a tournament usually marked by big upsets, three of the top four seeds advanced with only North Dakota in as a lower seed (No. 4, Midwest regional).
East Regional — No. 3 Union 5, Vermont 2; Providence 4, Quinnipiac 0; Union 3, Providence 1
Midwest Regional — Ferris State 1, Colgate 0; North Dakota 5, No. 4 Wisconsin 2[ North Dakota 2, Ferris State 1 2OT
West Regional — No. 1 overall seed Minnesota 7, Robert Morris 3; St. Cloud State 4, Notre Dame 3 OT; Minnesota 4, SCSU 0
Northeast Regional — No. 2 Boston College 6, Denver 2; UMass-Lowell 2, Minnesota State 1; Boston College 4, UMass-Lowell 3
Frozen Four, Philadelphia
All times MT
Semifinals, April 10, both ESPN2
Boston College vs. Union, 3 p.m.; North Dakota vs. Minnesota, 6:30 p.m.
National championship, April 12, ESPN
Semifinal winners, 5:30 p.m.