Southern Maine assistant Pecora hired as new Wentworth head coach

Wentworth announced Thursday the hiring of Jay Pecora as the head coach of the men’s team.

Pecora replaces R.J. Tolan, who stepped down in June to become the head coach at Endicott.

“I am excited to be named the head hockey coach at Wentworth,” said Pecora in a news release. “I would like to thank the search committee and the entire athletics department for this opportunity. I look forward to building the strength of the program and taking it to a new level of success.”

For the past four seasons, Pecora has served as an assistant coach at Southern Maine and prior to that, he co-founded the Portland Junior Pirates of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League and was a co-owner, director of hockey operations and the program’s head coach from 2002 to 2010.

A native of Stoneham, Mass., Pecora played three seasons at New England College after spending a season at Plattsburgh State. He served as a three-year captain for the Pilgrims and recorded 70 points (22 goals, 48 assists) in 66 games. During his senior season (1996-97) he tallied nine goals with 19 assists for 28 points and earned Division II/III player of the year honors from the New England Hockey Writers Association.

The 1997 recipient of the Parmenter Award, given to New England College’s top graduating male athlete, Pecora earned his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology in 1997 and went on to play professionally for five seasons, playing in Austria for one season and for four teams among three leagues in the United States.