Lou DiMasi, the only head coach that the Saint Michael’s College men’s ice hockey program has known since reinstituting its varsity status in 1982, will step down from the helm of the Purple Knights effective immediately, the athletics department announced today. The athletic department also announced that Chris Davidson, Saint Michael’s assistant men’s ice hockey coach for the past six seasons, has been named the Interim Head Coach for the 2007-08 season.
“I’m grateful for Ed Markey (Saint Michael’s Athletics Director from 1968-97), Geri Knortz (current Athletics Director) and Saint Michael’s for giving me the opportunity to do what I love, and thankful for all of the support from my wife Nan and the rest of the family,” said DiMasi.
“Lou has done an outstanding job for 25 years, taking on the head men’s ice hockey coaching responsibilities along with his full-time job in the student life office,” said Knortz. “We are all so thankful for his good work in not only coaching his team members in the sport of ice hockey, but also in developing them as outstanding citizens. We recognize and appreciate the sacrifices that he has made to build this program, and honor his desire to spend more time with his family.”
One of just two people enshrined in both the Saint Michael’s and Norwich University Athletics Halls of Fame, DiMasi compiled a 264-308-21 record in 25 years as head coach of the Purple Knights. He reached the pinnacle of his profession during the 1998-99 season, when he guided Saint Michael’s to the NCAA Division II men’s ice hockey championship, the only NCAA Championship in College history.
DiMasi steps down as the second winningest coach in the 102-year history of Saint Michael’s athletics (only Sue Duprat, who recorded 327 victories as the women’s basketball head coach from 1976-2003, has more wins at Saint Michael’s than DiMasi).
DiMasi led the Purple Knights to 10 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) playoff appearances, including eight straight years from 1995-2003, and coached Saint Michael’s to the inaugural Northeast-10 Conference men’s ice hockey tournament championship in 2004. The 2003 ECAC Division II Coach of the Year, DiMasi coached an NCAA Division II Player of the Year (Josh Ralph in 2000), five First-Team All-Americans (Ralph, Darren Beers ’99, Michel Dupont ’98, John Gurskis ’98, and Kyle Lanfear ’98), and nearly three dozen players that have earned postseason awards.
A native of Somerville, Mass., DiMasi went on to star at Norwich, where he was a four-year starter for the Cadets from 1972-76. DiMasi also served as a high school head coach in Vermont for four seasons before taking over at Saint Michael’s, as he guided the Middlebury Union High School boy’s ice hockey team for three seasons, and the Northfield High School boy’s ice hockey team to a state championship
DiMasi will remain in his full-time position as the College’s Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Resident Life. Among the five children that he and his wife, Nan, have are: Lou III, a two-time All-American at Norwich from 2000-04 who has played professionally the last three seasons; Andy, a four-year member of the Saint Michael’s men’s ice hockey program who is expected to graduate in May; Molly, who just completed her first season as a member of the Saint Michael’s women’s ice hockey and field hockey squads; Ronny, a senior and ice hockey player at Burlington (Vt.) High School; and Maggie, a sophomore at Burlington High School and one of the top girl’s ice hockey players in the state.