June 19, 2012

UMass coach Cahoon steps down

By Jesse Connolly

After 12 seasons behind the bench, Don “Toot” Cahoon (Lynn, Mass.) is stepping down from his position as head coach of the UMass men’s hockey team. 

Don "Toot" Cahoon won 166 games at UMass, the most by any coach in program history. (Dave Arnold Photography)

Director of Athletics John McCutcheon made the announcement on Tuesday.

"Through the course of our recent conversations, coach Cahoon and I mutually agreed that it would be in the program's best interest for him to take this action at this time," McCutcheon said. "I want to thank coach Cahoon for his many contributions to UMass and the community. He has positioned the program well for future success, both on and off the ice, and we are excited to continue to build on the foundation that he has put in place."

During his dozen seasons in Amherst, Cahoon compiled a 166-225-42 record. His 166 wins are the most in program history.

"It's been an honor to coach and work with so many fine student-athletes over the last 12 years here at UMass," Cahoon said. "Their efforts and the efforts of the faculty, staff and community members will be fond memories of my time here at Massachusetts. I look forward to the continued growth and development of this program so that it will sustain itself at the most elite level within Hockey East. The privilege has been all mine."

Cahoon’s best season came back in 2006-07, when the Minutemen were led by this year’s Conn Smythe winner and Stanley Cup champion with the L.A. Kings, Jonathan Quick (Hamden, Conn.), and finished with a 21-13-5 record. The sophomore netminder helped UMass reach the second round in their first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament.

UMass hockey has had seven All-Americans in its history. Four of them came during Cahoon’s tenure: Thomas Pock (2004), Quick (2007), James Marcou (2009) and Justin Braun (2010).

UMass will reportedly begin a national search for the program’s 13th head coach immediately.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.