There is no doubt that Northfield Mount Hermon has a special place in Kevin Czepiel’s heart.
The Holyoke, Mass., native spent three seasons playing there, which helped launch him to a four-year career at UMass. After being the Director of Hockey Operations for the Minutemen from 2014-16, the Northfield Mount Hermon head coaching job opened up and Czepiel felt the pull to return to help fix his alma mater.
NMH went 5-20-2 in 2015-16. Czepiel was tasked with being the one to set the program back on the right track. Within two years of Czepiel stepping behind the bench, Northfield earned the No. 1 seed in the NEPSAC Large School postseason tournament. The next year, NMH was in the Elite 8.
“It took a lot of kids taking a leap of faith on me to come to Northfield,” Czepiel said. “When I took it over, we were not where we are today so it took those first couple of years. Those kids really stuck it out that decided to take a chance on me.”
He’s been in the position for seven years. Until now.