CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Harvard head coach Ronn Tomassoni resigned his position Friday, holding a team meeting and then making his announcement at a press conference.
“My time at Harvard has been more rewarding than anything I could have imagined when I first arrived in 1982,” said Tomassoni. “I’ve had the wonderful fortune to work at a world-class institution and to coach many gifted young men, and the memories and friendships that have grown during this time will always be cherished.
“I wouldn’t trade these past 17 years for anything, but there are many challenges and opportunities still out there and I believe the time is right in my life to pursue them.”
Tomassoni compiled a 140-115-26 record (106-70-22 ECAC, 51-27-12 Ivy League) in his nine years at the helm and guided the Crimson to NCAA tournament berths in 1993 and 1994. His squads won three ECAC regular-season titles (1992, 1993, 1994), one ECAC tournament crown (1994), one Beanpot championship (1993) and a pair of Ivy League titles (1992, 1993).
The 1993-94 campaign was his most successful, as the Crimson posted a 24-5-4 record, the fourth-highest win total in program history, and advanced to the NCAA semifinals. At the conclusion of that season, Tomassoni was a finalist for the American Hockey Coaches Association Coach of the Year Award. He was also a finalist in 1993, following the Crimson’s 22-6-3 campaign.
Tomassoni’s resignation comes on the heels of Harvard’s fourth consecutive losing season. The Crimson finished the 1998-99 campaign with a 14-16-2 record, and have not ended above the .500 mark since 1993-94.
“We are incredibly grateful for all Ronn has done for the Harvard hockey program,” said athletic director Bill Cleary. “As an assistant, he was a big reason we recruited so many skilled players and won the NCAA tournament in 1989. And as our head coach, Ronn brought us many more great moments, and his squads always represented Harvard in a positive manner on and off the ice.
“Ronn possesses the qualities we value most in our coaches. Aside from being a great competitor and having outstanding knowledge of the game, he is respected by those who know him for his integrity, honesty, and a commitment to sportsmanship.”
A 1980 graduate of Rensselaer, Tomassoni joined the Crimson staff in 1982, serving first as an assistant coach and later as associate head coach to Cleary. With Tomassoni as chief recruiter and defensive coach, Harvard enjoyed tremendous success, highglighted by the 1989 national championship squad that defeated Minnesota, 4-3, in overtime in the title game, the first NCAA-sponsored team championship ever won by the college.
While at Harvard, Tomassoni was involved with the recruiting and coaching seven first-team All-Americans and three Hobey Baker Award winners (Mark Fusco, 1983; Scott Fusco, 1986; and Lane MacDonald 1989).
He succeeded Cleary behind the the Crimson bench following the 1989-90 campaign.