After almost eight seasons, Al MacCormack has resigned as head coach of the Lebanon Valley men’s hockey team. MacCormack had served as the head coach for the Flying Dutchmen since the program’s inception in 1998, amassing a 123-97-2 overall record.
MacCormack is taking a leave of absence from the college that will run until the end of his current contract in July, 2007, and will continue to participate on the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Committee.
Current assistant coach Howard Hutton, in his second year with the program, has been named interim head coach for Lebanon Valley. Prior to Lebanon Valley, Hutton was head coach of the ACHA club team at Farmingdale State University.
“The athletic department is going to head in a different direction now,” said Hutton. “Playing in the ECAC West, there has got to be a commitment and dedication to recruiting. The guys we have now need to be focused on the second half of the season to see if we can get some wins. There needs to be a renewed sense of commitment to working a little harder and holding each other accountable for their actions. From the head coach down to the equipment manager, we have a lot to prove right now.”
Over the course of almost 27 seasons as head coach at Ithaca, Cortland, and Lebanon Valley, MacCormack earned a 292-349-18 record, placing him amongst the top 15 active Division III coaches in wins.
After several successful seasons in the ECAC Northeast — including a league championship and NCAA berth in 2001 — Lebanon Valley has struggled to win in the ECAC West. Over the last two plus seasons, the Flying Dutchmen have a record of 1-32 in league games. The team has started the season 0-11 overall and 0-6 in conference.
A decision on a permanent head coach will be deferred until after the conclusion of the season.
“We need to focus from January 6th until our last game in February,” said Hutton. “What happens after that is going to be decided after the season. We need to send the right message out that this team is heading in the right direction for the second semester.”
Lebanon Valley resumes play Jan. 5 with a two-game series at Elmira.