Spencer Penrose Award winner Leaman moves to Providence

Not long after being named the Spencer Penrose Award winner as the Division I men’s coach of the year, Nate Leaman is changing his address.

Leaman is moving to Providence after leading Union to the school’s first ECAC Hockey regular season championship and first NCAA tournament berth in 2010-11.

“We are thrilled to have Nate Leaman coming to Providence College to coach our men’s hockey team,” Rev. Brian Shanley, Providence’s president, said in a statement. “I believe he is the type of person who can lead our student-athletes and build our program.”

Leaman replaces Tim Army, who had five straight losing seasons in a six-year stay at Providence. The Friars were 8-18-8 last season, and they haven’t made the NCAA tournament since 2001.

Union was 26-10-4 under Leaman last season, going 14-1-1 over its final 16 regular season games to win the league title.

In eight seasons at Union, Leaman was 138-127-35.

“I believe Nate Leaman has all the qualities necessary to put Providence College hockey in a position to be one of the top teams in Hockey East,” Friars athletic director Bob Driscoll said in a statement. “Having started my career at Union College, I have complete respect for what Nate was able to accomplish and build with the Dutchmen. Most importantly, Nate deserves full credit for everything he got done at Union, as he did it with a lot of hard work and perseverance.”

Providence plans to introduce Leaman to fans and media on May 3.

Union, in turn, named associate head coach Rick Bennett as Leaman’s replacement.