Geneseo coach Brian Hills, who led the Ice Knights to the SUNYAC title and an NCAA berth last season, has resigned to accept an assistant coaching position at RIT. The Tigers are moving to Division I this coming season.
The move reunites Hills with RIT head coach Wayne Wilson. Hills and Wilson were teammates and later assistant coaches at Bowling Green.
“We are very fortunate to be able to attract someone as successful as Brian Hills to RIT,” said Wilson. “We have worked together in the past and I look forward to working with him again. I rely on his experience in bringing Geneseo State to the forefront of Division III as we hope to do the same in Division I.”
Hills comes to RIT after four seasons as the head coach at Geneseo. This past season he led the Knights to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals and an 18-7-4 overall record. In his four years behind the Ice Knight’s bench, Hills compiled an overall record of 53-42-14.
The 1983 graduate of Bowling Green State University was a two-time first team All-American and two-time Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist. He led the CCHA in scoring twice and was the CCHA Player of the Year in 1983.
After graduating from Bowling Green, Hills spent 11 seasons playing professionally in Europe, where he played eight years in Switzerland and three seasons in Germany. He won three gold medals with Team Canada in Europe’s Spengler Cup before returning to his alma mater, where he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach.
RIT also named two other assistant coaches, both of which were with the team last season. Scott MacDonald will begin his third season assisting Wilson. The former Niagara defenseman has been a part-time coach the past two seasons, concentrating on defense and recruiting. He becomes a full-time assistant.
“Scott is a young, up and coming coach,” said Wilson. “He’s done a tremendous job with our defense and recruiting. He will make a great head coach someday.”
Also returning as an assistant is Chris Palmer, who has been helping Wilson for the past five seasons. The former Tiger standout ranks 14th on RIT’s all-time scoring list, and played and coached professionally in the AHL and UHL.
“Chris’ playing background brings a lot of hockey knowledge to our staff,” says Wilson. “He’s done a great job sharing his experiences with our players and in particular with our forwards.”
RIT will play an independent Division I schedule in 2005-2006 before moving to the Atlantic Hockey Association the following season.
“I think we will all work very well together,” said Wilson of his staff. “I’m excited to be bringing a coach of Hills’ quality into the RIT family and we’re excited to have Scott and Chris on our staff and keep the continuity together as we make the jump to Division I.”