It’s official: Cavanaugh takes the reins at Connecticut

Longtime Boston College assistant Mike Cavanaugh, who has served on the Eagles’ coaching staff for the past 18 seasons and last nine as associate head coach, has been named the head coach at Connecticut.

Cavanaugh becomes only the fourth head coach in UConn history, dating back to the start of the program back in 1960.

“I am very excited to be joining the UConn Husky family,” said Cavanaugh in a statement. “This job is a terrific opportunity and I think UConn’s move to Hockey East is a natural. I look forward to the challenge of building this program and I believe that my experiences over the past 18 years will help me lead UConn into this new era.

“College hockey is at an all-time high in the state of Connecticut right. The national championship teams that we had at Boston College had several players from the state on it and they were integral in our success. There is a wealth of talent in Connecticut and I look forward to recruiting the homegrown players as well as the prep schools. The state of Connecticut will be key in our recruiting efforts.”

“Mike has enjoyed an accomplished career at Boston College and has a great knowledge of what it takes to win on a national level,” added UConn director of athletics Warde Manuel. “He also brings to UConn an understanding and appreciation for what it means to be a complete student-athlete.”

Cavanaugh was named the 2013 Terry Flanagan Award winner by the American Hockey Coaches Association.

A 1990 graduate of Bowdoin, Cavanaugh was a three-year letterman for the Polar Bears, serving as team captain in 1989-90. Cavanaugh also captained and was a wide receiver on the school’s football team.

Cavanaugh joined Jerry York’s staff at Bowling Green from 1992-93 and then spent two years as an assistant coach at Dartmouth from 1993-95. He was promoted to associate head coach at BC prior to the 2004-05 season.

“I’m thrilled for Mike Cavanaugh to accept the head coaching position at the University of Connecticut,” said York in a statement. “I think it’s a significant hire by athletics director Warde Manuel. He has hired a very energetic, knowledgeable, classy young man. Mike will be sorely missed here at Boston College for his contributions to our hockey program over the last 18 years, but on the other hand, we wish him all the best as he starts a whole new chapter in his career.”

“This is a great hire for the University of Connecticut,” added Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna. “I have had the opportunity to watch Mike up close as Boston College has advanced late into so many seasons. His knowledge and passion are evident and I have no doubt he will bring success to UConn hockey.”