GENEVA, N.Y. — Mark Taylor, a long-time Division I assistant at Mass.-Lowell and Cornell, has been named the new head coach at Division-III Hobart. Taylor moves to Division III Hobart after spending the last four seasons as the top assistant at Lowell.
“It is a tough time to leave UMass-Lowell,” Taylor said. “I was really looking forward to this season as a comeback season. I have a lot of heart and belief in the guys coming back. But Hobart presents a great opportunity for me.”
Taylor, who was a finalist for the opening at RIT last summer, begins his new post on August 28th.
“Mark Taylor has assisted in excellent hockey programs while working under some of college hockey’s top head coaches,” said Hobart director of athletics, Mike Hanna. “That mentoring has prepared him well to be a head coach, and I am very pleased for the college, and for the Hobart hockey players of today and the future, that he has chosen to take on the leadership of our program.”
After playing two seasons in the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation, Taylor moved into the coaching ranks in 1987 with single-season stints as an assistant at Middlebury, Brown and Vermont. He moved on to Cornell, where he spent five seasons as the top assistant under current Buffalo Sabres assistant coach Brian McCutcheon. Taylor helped guide the Big Red to ECAC and Ivy League Championships, as well as an NCAA tournament appearance in 1991.
The last five seasons at Lowell, Taylor has recruited five River Hawk players who went on to be selected in the NHL draft, including, most recently, first-round pick (13th overall) Ron Hainsey. During his tenure there, Lowell made Hockey East Tournament semifinal appearances in 1997 and 1998.
“I am very happy for Mark and his family,” said Lowell head coach Tim Whitehead. “He is an excellent college coach and I know he will be successful at Hobart College.”
Taylor began his collegiate playing career at SUNY-Canton, where he earned all-America honors as a defenseman, leading the team to back-to-back NJCAA championships before transferring to Elmira College. At Elmira, he played under McCutcheon until graduating in 1985, and was the Soaring Eagles’ Most Valuable Player and an All-ECAC selection his senior year.
Taylor inherits a team in some tough times. Hobart struggled to a 6-19-1 record last season, and has had sub-.500 seasons since 1993. But the Statesmen return 26 of 30 palyers from last year’s team, and will be looking to turn things around under the new head coach.
“I am excited about what I saw in Geneva and on the campus and where they want the program to be,” Taylor said. “The administration has taken steps to advance the program. It will be a great challenge.”
Taylor replaces Bill Greer, who guided the Statesmen hockey program for 16 seasons.