NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Merrimack College has announced that it will not renew the contract of head coach Ron Anderson, the winningest coach in the school’s history. Anderson will remain until the end of the season.
Anderson’s teams recorded a 244-223-23 record in the 14 years prior to this season, with their greatest moments occurring while the Warriors were still a Division II power. In their final years before moving up to Division I and joining Hockey East, they won three consecutive ECAC East championships (1987, 1988, 1989) and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 1988 NCAA Division I tournament.
The program struggled in its early D-I years, but experienced a breakthrough last season when it achieved a .500 record in Hockey East, earning its first playoff home-ice. As a result, the New England College Hockey Writers named Anderson the Division I Coach of the Year, and he was also a finalist for the Spencer Penrose National Coach of the Year award.
He was offered only a one-year contract extension, however, and after a 9-19-1 start was informed that he would not return next year.
Anderson also leaves a legacy of academic excellence among his athletes. He coached five Distinguished Scholars while in recent years Merrimack has led Hockey East in players named to the All-Academic Team. His achievements have come despite handicaps which included a rink widely considered the worst in Division I.
“I’m disappointed that I’m not going to be back,” said Anderson. “I’m proud that we have a program that’s gone from missing the playoffs in Division II when I came over to being a contender on any given night at the Division I level.
“I’m proud of the work that I’ve done and my coaching staff has done. I’m proud of the kids here now and all of the ones that came before. I leave here with many more good memories than bad.”
Reportedly, assistant coaches Stu Irving, Andy Heinze and Mike Geragosian will be retained for next season.