May 9, 2013

UConn hires BC assistant Cavanaugh as new head coach

Staff Report

When UConn becomes the newest member of the Hockey East men’s league, it’ll have a new coach, but one with a familiar face.

Mike Cavanaugh was announced on Wednesday as the new head men’s coach at Connecticut, which joins Hockey East for the 2014-15 season. The UConn women have been in the league since the women’s conference began play in 2002.

Cavanaugh comes to Connecticut after 18 years on Watertown, Mass., native Jerry York’s staff at Boston College – the last nine spent as the associate head coach. Cavanaugh, 45, is a North Andover native who was recently given the American Hockey Coaches Association’s Terry Flanagan Award, which recognizes the career body of work of an assistant coach. During his tenure at BC, the Eagles have appeared in 10 Frozen Fours, won four national titles and nine Hockey East titles.

In addition to recruiting and other assistant duties, Cavanaugh has been in charge of BC’s special teams, which are perennially among the best in Hockey East. Last year, the Eagles’ power play was the top unit in the league, with a 21.1 percent success rate.

Cavanaugh will replace Bruce Marshall, who stepped down in the middle of the 2012-13 season, his 25th at UConn, citing personal issues. He had taken a leave of absence in November. In his stead, assistant David Berard took over as head coach. There is no indication yet as to Berard’s future with the program. Under Marshall, the Huskies went 339-381-70, with the victories making Marshall the winningest coach in the program’s 52-year history. He also oversaw the Huskies’ elevation from Division III to Division I in 1998, and that debut season they went 20-10-4, though it was the only winning season under Marshall’s tenure.

The Huskies will become the 12th member of Hockey East’s men’s division in 2014, following the addition of Notre Dame this fall. UConn will play out its final season in Atlantic Hockey in 2013-14.

Cavanaugh is a 1990 graduate of Bowdoin College, where he was a three-year letterman and a captain in his senior year. After college, he was a player/coach with the Richmond Ice Hockey Club in London, England, for one year, before coming back home to be an assistant at the Belmont Hill School for the 1991-92 season. He joined York’s staff for a year at Bowling Green, then spent two years as an assistant at Dartmouth before rejoining York at BC in 1995.