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Former BC assistant Cavanaugh named head coach

By Tim Fontenault
On May 8, 2013

  • The UConn men’s hockey team will have a new permanent coach to replace Bruce Marshall. TROY CALDEIRA/The Daily Campus

Former Boston College assistant Mike Cavanaugh will be the man to lead the UConn men's hockey team into Hockey East.

UConn announced Cavanaugh as the new head coach of the Huskies on Wednesday night, after reports surfaced on Tuesday afternoon that he had entered into negotiations for a multi-year contract with the school.

"I am very excited to be joining the UConn Husky family," Cavanaugh said in a release by the school. "This job is a terrific opportunity and I think UConn's move to Hockey East is a natural. I look forward to the challenge of building this program and I believe that my experiences over the past 18 years will help me lead UConn into this new era."

Cavanaugh was offered the job over David Berard, who served as the interim head coach last season after former head coach took a leave of absence in November before resigning entirely in January.

UConn also interviewed former Denver head coach George Gwozdecky, who ranks 11th all time in wins among men's hockey coaches.

It has long been speculated that UConn wanted a coach with a Hockey East background, as the Huskies prepare to make the switch to Hockey East from Atlantic Hockey after next season.

Cavanaugh has spent the last 18 years in Hockey East, as an assistant at Boston College. In his time at Boston College, Cavanaugh stood side-by-side with Jerry York through four national championships, nine Hockey East championships and 10 Frozen Four appearances.

"Mike has enjoyed an accomplished career at Boston College and has a great knowledge of what it takes to win on a national level," Athletic Director Warde Manuel said. "He also brings to UConn an understanding and appreciation for what it means to be a complete student-athlete."

Cavanaugh is known around the college hockey world for his ability to recruit, and he has recruited heavily in Connecticut in the past. Boston College's roster during the 2012-13 season included three Connecticut players, including captain Pat Mullane.

The players that Cavanaugh brought to Boston College were the recipients of many accolades. He oversaw 27 National Hockey League players, a Hobey Baker Award recipient, 22 All-Americans and two USA Hockey College Players of the Year.

Cavanaugh was the 2013 recipient of the Terry Flangan Award, which recognizes an assistant coach's career body of work.

"This is a great hire for the University of Connecticut," Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna said. "I have had the opportunity to watch Mike up close as Boston College has advanced late into so many seasons. His knowledge and passion are evident and I have no doubt he will bring success to UConn hockey."

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