An 18-year oversight

In Wednesday’s column, I took a moment to celebrate Colgate head coach Don Vaughan’s landmark 300th win, which came on Friday at Brown. I also made sure to acknowledge the other active 300-win mentors of ECAC Hockey, in St. Lawrence’s Joe Marsh (469 wins), Cornell’s Mike Schafer (314); and Dartmouth’s Bob Gaudet, who won No. 300 two weekends ago and has since improved to 302.

I clearly didn’t spend enough time combing the records, because I overlooked another completely active, assuredly successful coach with more career wins than Vaughan, Gaudet or even Schafer: second in the league in career wins among active coaches, Quinnipiac’s Rand Pecknold (324 victories) is also second among that group in career winning percentage (.588, trailing only Schafer’s .628).

Pecknold, now 18 years into his tenure at the only program he’s ever led, has earned every inch of his status as the 10th-most-victorious active D-I coach, only four wins behind Notre Dame’s Jeff Jackson. The Bobcats haven’t suffered a sub-.500 season in 15 years and counting under Pecknold, a streak that has survived Quinnipiac’s jump to D-I in 1999, the program’s transition from the late MAAC to Atlantic Hockey in 2003, and its acceptance into the ECAC two years later.

The absolutely outstanding players he has guided, the stellar student-athletes, and the truly good citizens of the world who spent four years under his tutelage are too numerous to count, but they – and any team he’s ever coached against – can attest to the fact that 18 years is a lot to overlook. Especially Rand Pecknold’s 18 years.