Connecticut assistant Souza takes associate coach job at New Hampshire

New Hampshire announced Friday that former Wildcats captain Mike Souza has been hired as associate head coach.

Souza replaces former associate head coach Scott Borek, who took the same position at Providence.

“Mike Souza was an outstanding player for us [and] he is a terrific coach and an even better person,” UNH head coach Dick Umile said in a news release. “I am excited to bring him back to UNH to work alongside fellow associate head coach and alum Glenn Stewart.”

Souza, a 2000 UNH graduate, returns to Durham after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at Connecticut. Prior to joining the Huskies, Souza began his coaching career with a two-year stint (2011-13) at Brown as an assistant coach.

“Mike couldn’t have a better mentor over the next couple of years before he takes over as head coach,” Connecticut coach Mike Cavanaugh said to the Hartford Courant. “It’s a wonderful opportunity and I’m really happy for him. It will be a seamless transition when Dick decides to retire. I told Dick I would support it if they were going to move him to head coach. Dick said, ‘That’s our plan.’ I was very happy. I have a great relationship with Dick. He’s an upfront, honest guy. I know he cares about Mike like a son.”

Souza, drafted in the third round (67th overall) in the 1997 NHL draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, played professionally in the AHL and ECHL from 2000 to 2005 and six seasons (2005-11) in Europe.

“Dick Umile has been my coach, mentor and a huge influence on my decision to become a coach, and it is an honor to be part of his staff,” Souza added in a statement. “I am humbled and appreciative to return to my alma mater in this capacity, and I look forward to working alongside Coach Umile and Coach Stewart with the goal of competing for a national championship this season.”

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