SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Union announced the hiring of Rick Bennett to the coaching staff. Bennett comes to Union after spending the past five years as the assistant coach at Providence.
“We are extremely pleased to have someone with Rick’s character, work ethic, and experience on our staff,” said Union head coach Nate Leaman. “He has coached at the collegiate level for five years and has also had playing experience at the highest level. He will be a real asset to the program.”
Bennett coached the fourth-highest power play in the nation during the 2003-04 season while at Providence. The 2000-01 squad had its best Hockey East regular season finish in the program’s history and was also Runner-Up in the Hockey East Tournament. A 1990 graduate of Providence, Bennett was a four-year standout for the Friars and ranks 21st all-time in scoring with 134 points (50 goals, 84 assists). He earned Second-Team All-American honors as a junior, and as a senior captain for the Friars earned Second-Team All-Hockey East accolades and was a Hobey Baker Finalist.
“From what I’ve seen of the campus and talking to athletic director Jim McLaughlin and Nate it seems like a win-win situation and I’m excited to be a part of the program,” said Bennett. “Union has a great support staff and a lot of good people working there and that was what I was most impressed with.”
Bennett will work with the defensemen and will assist current Union assistant coach Bill Riga with special teams. He will also help with recruiting and team video.
Bennett was hired after Gary Heenan, the head coach at Utica, took the position, then resigned after a meeting with Leaman.