College Hockey:
Former Niagara, Massachusetts-Lowell coach MacDonald hired to guide Colby

Blaise MacDonald, who has Division I head coaching experience and has won national championships as a player and an assistant coach, was named Friday as the new head coach at Colby College.

MacDonald, a former head coach of Niagara (1996-2000) and Massachusetts-Lowell (2000-11), helped Boston University to a national championship in 1995 as an assistant coach. He also Rochester Institute of Technology to an NCAA Division II title as a player in 1983 and a D-III title in 1985.

“What a tremendous community and a beautiful campus,” MacDonald said in a news release. “The people that I met were so genuine, authentic and caring,”

MacDonald is the 18th head coach in Colby history since the team was started in the 1922-23 academic year.

“It’s very humbling to me to know that someone like Jack Kelley was the head coach at Colby,” MacDonald added. “Then you have Charlie Holt and more recently Jim Tortorella. I’ve known Jim for a long, long time and his values and beliefs [in coaching] are a very succinct match with what I believe in.”

MacDonald spent last year as an assistant coach at Massachusetts. He was at UMass-Lowell as head coach for 10 seasons and helped the River Hawks to the Hockey East tournament semifinals in 2002 and 2009 and an appearance in the championship game in 2009.

Before his time at UML, MacDonald helped found the Niagara program and was the Purple Eagles’ first head coach during the 1996-97 season. He led the Purple Eagles to a 16-9-2 record in their debut season with an all first-year team and was named the ECAC West co-coach of the year.

MacDonald served as an assistant coach and later as recruiting coordinator and associate head coach at Boston University from 1990-96 and also had assistant coach stints at Dartmouth (1985-87), Princeton (1987-88) and UMass-Lowell (1988-90).

“As long as you have standards of excellence, it doesn’t really matter what level of play you are at,” MacDonald said. “You can be a player who exceeds expectations or be a high performer for the team as long as you have standards of excellence.”

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