July 28, 2013

Around Campus: Gendron inspired by Maine's passion

By NEHJ staff

Dennis “Red” Gendron, left, assisted Shawn Walsh when the Black Bears won the 1993 NCAA title.

Dennis “Red” Gendron, whose résumé as an assistant coach includes two NCAA championships and a Stanley Cup, has been named head coach at the University of Maine.

Gendron, whose first college hockey coaching experience was with the Black Bears, assisting the late Shawn Walsh with the 1993 Division 1 championship team, replaces Tim Whitehead, who was fired in April after 11 years.

The last two seasons, Gendron was associate head coach at Yale, helping that team win its first Division 1 national championship.

Athletic director Steve Abbott said Gendron “truly appreciates both the history of this great hockey program and the potential that exists here to compete for Hockey East and national championships. He is an enthusiastic competitor who loves this university and is passionate about Maine hockey.”

Gendron, who also spent six years as an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts and 11 seasons in pro hockey with the New Jersey Devils organization, said the experience he and his family had in Maine in the 1990s was life-changing.

“All of the wonderful things that have happened to us since that time would not have been possible if not for the University of Maine, Shawn Walsh, Grant Standbrook, and all of the champion players and coaches who were part of our first Maine experience. The energy and passion within and surrounding this program are inspiring and have not diminished in my absence,” he said.

Gendron earned a master’s degree in education from UMaine in 1993. USA Hockey uses Gendron’s book, “Coaching Hockey Successfully,” as the advanced-level manual for its coaching education program.

Black Bears add Guite

The new Maine coach brought on former standout player Ben Guite as an assistant coach last month.

Guite helped lead the Black Bears to their second national championship in 1999 and guided them back to the Frozen Four in 2000. He totaled 47 goals, including nine game-winners, and added 49 assists for 96 points in 146 games at Maine.

After his time at Maine, Guite spent 13 years in the professional hockey ranks, where he totaled 175 games in the NHL, 585 games in the American Hockey League and 68 contests with the ECHL.

He spent four years in the NHL for the Boston Bruins (2005-06), Colorado Avalanche (2006-07, 2008-09) and Nashville Predators (2009-10).

Harvard-Yale gets big stage

Harvard and Yale will play at Madison Square Garden, the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” on Jan. 11, 2014.

The game between the 2013 national champion Bulldogs and rival Harvard will air live on NBC Sports Network.

Harvard and Yale have a historic hockey rivalry that started in 1900 when they played their first hockey game at the St. Nicholas Rink in New York City, a black-tie affair attended by 2,000 spectators.

Tickets went on sale last month through Ticketmaster, the Madison Square Garden website and the arena box office.

BC appoints Ayers

Mike Ayers, former goaltending coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, was named assistant hockey coach at Boston College last month, according to an announcement made by head coach Jerry York (Watertown Mass.).

Ayers (Hingham, Mass.) fills the vacancy left by former associate head coach Mike Cavanaugh (North Andover, Mass.), who was recently named head coach at the University of Connecticut.

Ayers completed his second season as goaltending coach with the NTDP in 2012-13. He most recently served as the goaltending coach for the silver-medal-winning U.S. Under-18 Team at the 2013 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Longtime BC assistant coach and former goaltender Jim Logue announced his retirement late last month after 20 years on the BC staff and 44 years in the profession. Logue, who starred in net for the Eagles from 1959-61, began his coaching tenure at BC in December 1993 and has worked closely with the program since.

Yale’s Taylor honored

The Hockey Commissioners Association will name its Division 1 Rookie of the Year Award the Tim Taylor Award, commencing with the 2013-14 season, it was announced last month.

 “Coach Taylor spent a good deal of his career identifying and developing young hockey players, whether during his time at Yale or through his many years with USA Hockey,” said HCA president Steve Hagwell of ECAC Hockey. “I can’t think of a better pairing than the young men who earn this award and the memory of Tim Taylor.”

Taylor, who passed away on April 27 following a four-year battle with cancer, spent 28 seasons at Yale and became the school’s winningest head coach with 337 victories. His tenure spanned the years 1976-2006, with two seasons on leave to coach in the Olympic Games, one as an assistant coach (1984) and one as head coach (1994).

More honors for Rocha

Army hockey player Cheyne Rocha (Rye, N.H.) was among the 15 athletes to earn Capital One Academic All-America honors, it was announced last month.

Rocha, who commissioned as a second lieutenant and posted a 4.20 grade-point average, is the first Army hockey player to earn the national academic honor as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. He registered the highest grade-point average of the 15 first-team choices.

The Capital One Academic All-America Division 1 men’s at-large team includes the sports of fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, water polo, volleyball and wrestling.

Ice chips

Middlebury senior Lauren Greer (North Hampton, N.H.) is one of two athletes from the NESCAC nominated for the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, which honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. The winner will be announced Oct. 20 in Indianapolis. … Division 3 men’s teams from Salem State and UMass-Boston will compete outdoors at Frozen Fenway this season. It will be on a date to be determined between Dec. 28 and Jan. 13. “We’re elated,” said Tim Shea, Salem State’s athletic director. “It’s an honor to be selected to play at one of the most storied athletic venues in the country.” … After two seasons coaching women at Trinity (Conn.) College, Carson Duggan resigned to take an assistant’s job at Ohio State. Duggan led the Bantams to a 28-19-4 record and a pair of appearances in the NESCAC tourney. She was the NESCAC and New England Division 2/3 Women’s Coach of the Year in 2011-12. … Brown rounded out its women’s coaching staff with the hiring of Jill Kirchner, a former Boston University standout. As the assistant coach of Division 3 St. Norbert, she helped lead the program to its first conference title, earning the team its first-ever NCAA berth this past season.

This article originally appeared in the July 2013 issue of New England Hockey Journal.