UMass-Amherst Names Princeton’s Cahoon New Head Coach

Don Cahoon, who revitalized the Princeton hockey program during a nine-year stint, was named head coach of the University of Massachusetts Wednesday at a press conference in Providence, site of this year’s Frozen Four.

“I think I can speak for my family and all my good friends in Massachusetts and say it’s an honor and a privilege to coach and lead the UMass hockey program into a new chapter,” said Cahoon. “I’m looking forward to getting the program headed in the right direction.”

“We’re pleased to have a person of Coach Cahoon’s stature in the hockey world as a part of our program,” said UMass athletic director Bob Marcum. “He has a proven record of success everywhere he has coached. We had several outstanding candidates for the position, so it’s evident that the head coaching job at UMass is a very desirable one. We feel confident Don is the person who can instill the winning tradition of UMass athletics to the hockey program.”

Cahoon, a 1972 graduate of Boston University, won 102 games at Princeton since taking over in 1991-92, guiding the Tigers to their only four winning seasons since 1967. Included were three 18-win campaigns, a 20-win season, and, in 1998, Princeton’s only ECAC Championship and trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Princeton had never been to the final four of the ECAC tournament until Cahoon came along. He then led the Tigers to four trips there in five years, never losing a quarterfinal series until this season’s two-game sweep at Clarkson.

A 1972 graduate of Boston University, Cahoon was instrumental in winning three national championships with the Terriers. He played left wing on BU’s 1971 and 1972 championship teams and served as an assistant coach when the club captured the title again in 1978. Cahoon returned to his alma mater as an assistant on three occasions — 1974-79, 1987-88 and 1990-91.

As a player, Cahoon represented the United States at the 1972 World Championships in Bucharest, Romania, helping the national team to the silver medal. He also signed a contract to play professional hockey with the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association after graduation.

Cahoon also held the position of head coach at Norwich University (1979-82) and Lehigh University (1973-74). At Norwich he posted a 48-39-1 record and qualified for the ECAC Division II playoffs all three years. In 1974 he led the Lehigh Engineers to the Mid-Atlantic Conference title with a 10-5-2 mark.

Following his stint at Norwich, Cahoon joined the Austrian Ice Hockey Federation as the director of hockey operations and head coach of the Vienna Ice Club, guiding the team to a 23-13-2 record in 1982. He returned to the United States the following year as an assistant at the University of Lowell, remaining there until 1986.

New Hampshire coach Dick Umile and Niagara coach Blaise MacDonald, who were also considered for the UMass post, took themselves out of the running after further consideration.

“It has been a privilege for me to be part of building the Niagara University hockey program,” said MacDonald in announcing his withdrawal from the field of candidates early on Wednesday. “I am looking forward to the future at Niagara and especially next season.”

Umile, meanwhile, pulled out of the field last week, citing a desire to finish out his career at New Hampshire.

“I am very excited that UNH has made the commitment to me personally and to the hockey program,” Umile said. “I have every intention of completing my coaching career here at UNH.”

The UMass job was opened when the school opted not to renew the contract of head coach Joe Mallen after his seven-year stint with the Minutemen.


  1. Great article Robert, helped me relive a great night of hockey. That says alot when the opposing coach says they knew ahead of time what you’re trying to do, yet they couldn’t stop it. Congrats to DU on penrose, that cup is huge lol.

    • Congrats to WMU and DU. The NCHC has a bevvy of great coaches, I am not sure if everyone appreciates how lucky the conference is in this regard. The NCHC will be sending a load to the NT with DU, UMD, and WMU. Good luck everyone!

      • They sure do have many great coaches, and they respect each other. Good to see UND back in the tournament as of today. Would love to see the nchc send 3, 1 seeds and 2 more elsewhere.

        • I dont think they’ll get 5 in the tourney. To get at least 3 number 1 seeds, DU, WMU and UMD will all need to win first round and would knock out any team that could take a 5th spot in the tourney. Sioux will more than like play SCSU and who ever loses that match up will almost certainly not make the tourney. Guess it all depends on what happens with other league tourneys as well.

          • SCSU and UND are the two best options to hope for 5 making it, I think that if they both win tonight and go 3 games with an SCSU win, they’ll both be in, just because UND is already higher. You’re correct on having to rely on other tournaments though.

          • They are higher, but I dont think enough higher that it wouldnt move them back to 14-16 and get bumped out by tourney winners. I’d rather not see UND lose round one though….. :)

    • Thanks, Ray and Sparky. DU didn’t play their best last night. Score of WMU game at faceoff made the game only important for PWR. Glad UND won, also. If they stay in band 4, one of us is going east. This might be the first time ever that a #1 is not kept in their own region. Would definitely suck.

      • Jaillet made a huge save with about 2 mins left in the first period…would have gave omaha a 3-2 lead, I believe. Think that was a key moment in the game.

        • So true. He has been rock solid every game. Would not be shocked if Cowley gets start tonight, though. I think DU’s PWR/RPI is strong enough to lose tonight and still remain #1 in PWR.

          • No matter who is in net, I dont see a loss.

            I’m hoping the Sioux come back with how they played last night. Absolutely dominating…we just can’t pump in a bunch of goals for some reason. If we are only going to get 2, maybe 3 in a game….Cam is going to need to be huge and our D has to step up. Although I would almost rather rotate 5 D and keep Wolanin off the ice….its just mistake after mistake with him.

          • They need to get back to getting up by 2 or 3 goals and then keeping control of the game. Nice to see they can come back from behind….but that wont work against quality teams like DU, WMU, or UMD. Looks like we will likely play SCSU in the first round….unless CC beats SCSU and Omaha wins tonight.

          • So true with the 5 D issue. Would you rather have Shaw or Wolanin playing with so much riding on line? Have you heard any word on Boeser?

          • I think Shaw has played better than Wolanin, but is still prone to bonehead mistakes. Haven’t heard anything on Boeser, but I have a hard time believing it is an injury as he practiced all week.

          • Possibly…..but even if it is that, seems a little foolish to keep out one of your best at this time of year. Rules are rules, but they definitely need him in there.

      • I’m not sure when DU’S game started in comparison to ours, but I would be surprised if they didn’t hear from somewhere that western was up 4 to 0, 2 minutes into the 2nd. It bothered me that western tapered off for a bit at the end, but DU seemed to take the game over when they needed to.

        • Your game started at 5:00 and DU game started at 6:40, both Denver time. Think it was 5-2 when we came on CBSSN. I flicked back and forth between WMU and UND games all night.

  2. “Not in our house.” “Not in our house.” “Not in our house.” Grumpy, old Dean will be muttering these word in his skivvies while watching the Regionals from his couch. DU beat “his house” playing their “C” game.


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