HARTFORD, Conn. — Trinity coach John Dunham today announced his retirement after 33 seasons, the longest tenure of any Trinity head coach in any sport.
Trinity has hired associate head coach David Cataruzolo, who had served as an assistant to Dunham since 1998, to replace Dunham. The Bantam men’s ice hockey squad posted an 8-13-4 record this season and a 6-10-3 mark in the NESCAC, while qualifying for the league tournament for the seventh straight year. Trinity lost at top-seeded Bowdoin, 7-3, in the NESCAC Quarterfinals.
Dunham was the guiding force behind the Trinity College ice hockey program for 37 years, beginning his coaching career with Trinity’s club hockey team in 1970 and helping it attain varsity status in 1974. His teams developed into a dominant force in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) North/South in the 1980′s, including the 1986-87 squad which posted a 24-1 record en route to the second of four conference titles, and he guided Trinity in its transition to the highly competitive ECAC East and NESCAC conferences in the 1990′s.
In all, Dunham compiled a 441-306-34 record with 21 post-season appearances, NCAA appearances in 2003 and 2005, four ECAC North/South Championship titles, and a NESCAC crown in 2003. In 2004-05, Trinity qualified for its second NCAA Division III Championship Tournament and posted the program’s first NCAA victory, 4-0, at Geneseo to advance to the Bantam ice hockey team’s only NCAA Final Four.
“My involvement with the Trinity club hockey team truly began as a labor of love,” said Dunham. “I had no idea the program would evolve to where it is today. I am proud of the many outstanding young men who have skated for us, and my hat is off to them for what they have accomplished on the ice despite the adversity of practicing and playing in off-campus facilities until this year.
“The recent completion of our new home, the Koeppel Community Sports Center and Williams Rink, is a fitting testament to all the men and women who have skated for Trinity. A great deal of the credit for the program’s success goes to my long time assistant coach Paul Davidson and to our new head coach David Cataruzolo. David is an outstanding young coach with the ability and passion necessary to keep the program moving forward. I am quite comfortable with my decision to retire.”
Dunham’s 441 career-coaching victories placed him fourth among all active Division III coaches, fifth in Division III history, 11th among all active coaches in all divisions, and 20th among all coaches in all divisions in wins. He is second all-time in wins in Division III at the same school. Recently, Dunham was named as the 2001, 2003, and 2005 NESCAC Coach of the Year and as a finalist for the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Division III National Coach of the Year in both 2003 and 2005. Dunham continues to serve as a major gifts officer in the Trinity College Development Office.
“Coach Dunham not only achieved a tremendous level of success on the ice, but played the pivotal role in making the exemplary Trinity ice hockey programs what they are today,” said Trinity Athletic Director Richard Hazelton. “He was officially a part-time coach but he gave more than a full-time effort to our teams for the past 37 years. He made the decision some time ago to step down as coach after this season, but Dunham will continue to help the program grow and build support for the Koeppel Community Sports Center and Williams Ice Rink.”
David Cataruzolo, a 1998 graduate of Bowdoin College, takes the reins immediately, after nine seasons coaching the Bantam forwards and serving as the program’s recruiting coordinator.
“Our consistent success over the last nine years was largely due to the hockey knowledge and recruiting skills that Coach Cataruzolo exhibited from his first day on the ice,” said Hazelton. “Coach Dunham served as an excellent mentor for David, which makes this transition a smooth one for Trinity and for our student-athletes.”
Cataruzolo was an All-NESCAC and All-New England ice hockey player at Bowdoin, where he served as captain of both the baseball and ice hockey squads. He was also an assistant baseball coach at Trinity for three seasons.
“John Dunham’s commitment to the hockey program was inspiring and I am truly fortunate and thankful for the guidance I received from him as a coach and as a human being,” said Cataruzolo. “I am proud to carry on the Trinity College hockey tradition that Coach Dunham built, as the program’s second head coach.”