The UConn men’s hockey program has elevated to new levels in recent seasons. That success has head coach Mike Cavanaugh’s fingerprints all over it.
The North Andover, Mass., native was hired by UConn in 2013 to put the Huskies into Hockey East and on the map.
Last season, UConn posted 20 wins, which is the highest win total for a Cavanaugh-coached Huskies team. That same squad got all the way to the Hockey East championship game where they fell to UMass, 2-1, in overtime.
UConn looks poised for even more progress this year. The Huskies are 5-0-1 and rank No. 14 in the nation, according to the USCHO poll. Cavanaugh also has a shiny new rink to look forward to at the start of the new year.
Cavanaugh joined host Stephanie Wood on the latest RinkWise podcast to discuss his career, working with the legendary Jerry York (Watertown, Mass.) and the future of UConn hockey.
On York’s impact on his career:
Cavanaugh: “Being able to work for Jerry York, he taught me so much. He gave me my first job actually out at Bowling Green. I was his graduate assistant at Bowling Green in ’92 and ’93. Then he helped me get a job at Dartmouth College where I worked for two years. That was valuable, too, because I really got to cut my teeth in the recruiting world. I spent a lot of time on the road. Then when he hired me at Boston College, it was a great challenge.”
On how the new arena will help recruiting:
Cavanaugh: “We’re going to get people to come visit because ‘hey, their facility’s on par with anybody else’s facility in the league.’ That being said, I think we’ve proven here that you win with people and you win with the right people. It’s not necessarily the facility or the material items that you might have that are going to help you win it. It’s winning with the right people. I want to make sure we’re continuing the recruit the right people here to the University of Connecticut.”