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College Hockey:
Former Nichols Coach: ‘I Was Fired’

— Former Nichols coach John Snyder, who left his post in February, claims he was fired and did not resign, as the school announced. In an attempt to explain his side of the story, Snyder recently sent a scathing letter to fellow ECAC Northeast coaches.

In the letter, Snyder writes, “There have been great strides made in the Nichols program this year. It’s too bad I will be unable to finish what I have started. The AD [athletic director] does not share my passion to build a winning program.

“To make a long story short, The AD wanted me to play everyone and to be careful about recruiting. Because I had a freshman team, I should work with what I have. In other words, don’t remove a player for a better player. No coach can work under these constraints. I had to defend my Program and this is why I was fired.”

The school announced Snyder’s resignation on Feb. 24, and immediately announced assistant Mark Jago as his interim replacement.

In his scathing letter, Snyder went on to blame Jago for going behind his back and seeking out the head coaching job.

“I know that we as coaches do not appreciate this type of betrayal,” Snyder wrote. “This assistant coach [Jago] never coached hockey before at any level. When I took over the program five days into the season last year, I could not find an experienced coach who could fit this into his schedule. I asked this person if he wanted to help. He did a good job with a limited role. I wanted to find an experienced coach for the 2000-2001 season, but I needed to be loyal to him because he helped me out, so I brought him back.

“He did a decent job and was learning how to work at this level. I guess being loyal to him did not go both ways. I just want all of you to know what kind of person you may be dealing with.”

Athletic director Charlyn Robert did not agree with Snyder’s assessment of the events, and still steadfastly holds that he resigned.

“Absolutely,” said Robert. “When it’s the truth it’s the truth.

“I’m not going to get into it. He resigned, and that’s what happened.”

Robert, who is also the school’s field hockey coach, declined to elaborate.

“This is obviously a personnel issue with the college, and we don’t discuss that,” said Robert. “You can read between the lines anything you want, but he resigned.”


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