March 11, 2011

MacDonald out at UMass-Lowell after 10 years

LOWELL, Mass. -- Blaise MacDonald, who recently completed his 10th season as head coach of the UMass-Lowell hockey team, has stepped down from his position, effective immediately, director of athletics Dana Skinner said Friday.

"Dana and I have been in talks all week," said MacDonald (Billerica, Mass.). "The discussions have been detailed and included everything from budgets to recruiting strategies. Together we reached the conclusion that the time was right for me and the university to try something different."

MacDonald leaves with an overall record of 150-178-44 and a Hockey East clip of 93-126-33, which includes a tied-for-third place finish in 2009-10 and a fourth-place showing in 2001-02, his first season.

The River Hawks reached the tournament championship game in 2008-09, losing to Boston University, but finished last this past season with a 5-25-4record (4-21-2Hockey East).

"Blaise MacDonald has made many significant contributions to the university and the hockey program," said Skinner. "We're grateful for the leadership he provided during his 10 years as head coach. I consider Blaise a friend, and I wish him every success in the future."

A national search for a head coach will begin immediately, Skinner said.