Quinnipiac named Rick Seeley as the third head coach in the history of its women’s ice hockey program. Seeley joins Quinnipiac while continuing a stellar coaching career in women’s collegiate ice hockey, most recently as head coach of fellow ECAC Hockey member Clarkson.
Last season Clarkson advanced to the ECAC Hockey Tournament Semifinals and finished the year ranked No. 8 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and No. 9 in the U.S. College Hockey Online Poll. Clarkson owned a 24-9-5 overall record and placed fourth during the regular season in arguably the nation’s most competitive women’s college hockey conference.
“Rick Seeley brings a wealth of successful experience as a head coach to Quinnipiac,” said Jack McDonald, Quinnipiac University director of athletics and recreation. “Along the way he has built two programs to national prominence and postseason success. Our women’s ice hockey team and the entire Quinnipiac community welcome Rick and his wife, Chapel.”
Named as the Clarkson head coach in the fall of 2002 Seeley ushered in women’s hockey as a varsity athletic program and, in the Golden Knights’ first five seasons, compiled a 93-67-18 (.573) overall record. The Green and Gold earned ECAC Hockey Playoff berths in their first four seasons in the conference.
“I’d like to thank Quinnipiac University, particularly President John Lahey, Val Belmonte and Jack McDonald, for extending this tremendous opportunity to me,” said Seeley. “I feel very fortunate to be guiding the next phase of the Quinnipiac women’s hockey program and I am looking forward to what the future holds.”
Seeley first established Clarkson as one of the nation’s premier teams during the 2005-06 campaign. Ranked among the top-10 squads in the country throughout the majority of the regular season, Clarkson skated to a 22-14-1 overall record and finished in a three-way tie for third place in ECAC Hockey with a 12-8 conference mark. The Knights tested eventual ECAC Hockey Tournament Champion Harvard in the Quarterfinal Round in Cambridge, Mass., falling to the Crimson in double overtime of the deciding third game.
Prior to coming to Clarkson Seeley similarly built the Manhattanville College women’s hockey program from the ground up while assembling four outstanding recruiting classes and guiding the program to national prominence at the Division III level. During his three seasons at Manhattanville (1999-2000 through 2001-02) Seeley guided the Valiants to a 54-16-4 overall record. In 2001-02 he led Manhattanville to a 23-2-2 mark – including an undefeated run in conference play – and advanced to the NCAA Division III National Championship Game. That year Manhattanville was ranked as high as No. 2 in the national polls following its win over then-No. 1 Middlebury College. In the process, the Valiants ended Middlebury’s 136-game, seven-year winning streak versus Division III opponents. Seeley was named ECAC East Coach of the Year and runner-up for National Coach of the Year in 2002.
During his career Seeley has crafted an extensive background in the sport at numerous levels, including as an assistant coach at two NCAA Division III men’s ice hockey programs: Hobart College (1987-93) and Rochester Institute of Technology (1997-98). He helped Hobart advance to the program’s first-ever two postseason appearances, and recruited two future All-Americans at RIT while advancing to the 1998 NCAA Division III Quarterfinals.
Between his stints as a men’s assistant coach Seeley helped establish an American Hockey League franchise in Syracuse, N.Y. With the Syracuse Crunch, Seeley served as the director of community relations and was also the assistant to the general manager.
In addition to his duties as the women’s ice hockey coach at Manhattanville, Seeley served as the assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions. As a student-athlete at Elmira College (1983-87) the forward averaged more than a point per game with the men’s ice hockey team before earning a bachelor’s degree in business marketing.
Seeley was selected by Quinnipiac following an exhaustive nationwide search coordinated by DHR International, a leading, privately held provider of executive search solutions with more than 40 wholly-owned offices spanning the globe. Glenn Sugiyama, DHR executive vice president and global sector leader of sports; and Pat Richter, executive vice president, education and sports practice; oversaw the process in conjunction with Quinnipiac University Vice President for Athletic Marketing and External Relations Val Belmonte and McDonald.
“We experienced a significant amount of interest in this position from a highly qualified pool of candidates, and we are excited to announce Rick as our new head coach,” said Belmonte. “DHR played an important role, not only in the identification process of potential candidates, but also by helping ensure that this decision was an excellent fit for both Quinnipiac University and Rick Seeley.”