Two days after its season ended with an ECAC First Round playoff sweep at the hands of Rensselaer, Princeton University fired Len Quesnelle as head coach of its men’s hockey team.
Gary Walters, Princeton’s director of athletics, made the announcement Monday afternoon. He said a national search for a new head coach will begin right away.
In his four years as the Tigers’ bench boss, Quesnelle posted a combined 29-84-11 record, including back-to-back seasons of more 24 or more losses. A four-year letterwinner as a player with the Tigers from 1984-88, Quesnelle posted a 5-24-2 mark this season. The Tigers were 0-15-2 in their last 17 games, and hadn’t won since Dec. 16.
“Len has been a very loyal member of the Princeton hockey program and Princeton athletic department for many years,” Walters said. “It’s not easy to make a decision like this, but we felt it was necessary for a change. We thank him for his service and wish him all the best in the future.”
To finish out the remainder of his contract, Quesnelle may be reassigned to other duties within the athletic department. Details of such a move have yet to be announced.
Quesnelle replaced Don Cahoon, the current Massachusetts coach, in 2000 after serving as his assistant at Princeton for nine years. The assistant coaching tenure included an ECAC Championship and an NCAA tournament bid in 1998, the only ones in the program’s history. In all, Quesnelle was a Tigers’ assistant for 12 seasons.
Quesnelle guided the Tigers to back-to-back .500 finishes in the ECAC in his first two years as head coach, but Princeton finished last in the league the past two seasons. As a player, Quesnelle played in 106 games as a defenseman, and was an all-Ivy Honorable Mention during his senior year.
He is the first coach to be let go in the ECAC for performance reasons since 1999, when Harvard fired Ron Tommasoni.