Former New Hampshire, Providence, Colby coach Tortorella chosen new men’s bench boss at St. Anselm

Jim Tortorella (UNH - Associate Head Coach) - The Boston University Terriers defeated the University of New Hampshire Wildcats 5-0 on Saturday, October 8, 2011, in both team's season opener at Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. (Melissa Wade)
Jim Tortorella inherits a St. Anselm team that went 12-12-2 during the 2016-17 season (photo: Melissa Wade).

St. Anselm announced Tuesday the hiring of Jim Tortorella as the seventh head coach in program history.

Former coach Ed Seney stepped down in March.

Tortorella brings more than two decades of experience at the collegiate level, including Providence, New Hampshire and Colby.

“Coach Tortorella is an excellent fit for Saint Anselm College and our athletics program,” said St. Anselm director of athletics Daron Montgomery in a news release. “It became clear when we met with Jim that he would bring a unique blend of confidence and humility to this critical leadership role. Jim has confidence in his ability to coach, mentor, and serve as a positive role model for our student-athletes, yet he brought humility to our very first meeting and recognized what a terrific coaching opportunity this is.

“Coach Tortorella will be an asset to the Hawks athletics family, and we look forward to welcoming his family to ours.”

Tortorella spent 16 seasons at Colby, where he remains the program’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 230-138-33. At Colby, he coached 78 NESCAC All-Academic choices, 20 NESCAC All-Stars and 16 All-Americans, while guiding the Mules to the league’s final four 10 times.

Colby won the ECAC championship in 1997 for the first time in 30 years and Tortorella was twice named the NESCAC Coach of the Year (2005-06, 2007-08) and was also tabbed the New England Sports Writers Coach of the Year in 2007-08, as well as being a finalist for the National Division III Coach of the Year three times (1995-96, 2005-06, 2007-08).

“It is an honor to be named head coach of this great program,” added Tortorella. “I would like to thank President [Steven] DiSalvo, athletic director [Daron] Montgomery and the search committee for entrusting me to guide the Saint Anselm program. From the moment I came to campus and met everyone involved in the search, I knew this was an incredibly appealing coaching opportunity and a great fit for my family and I.

“Hawks hockey has a strong tradition of fielding outstanding teams who have embodied the true meaning of being a student-athlete. I am optimistic we will not only sustain this tradition but enhance it to an unprecedented level of excellence on and off the ice of Sullivan Arena. I look forward to building relationships with the entire Saint Anselm community of students, faculty, alumni and supporters as we move forward into the new era of Hawks men’s ice hockey.”

After Colby, Tortorella spent three seasons as the associate head coach at New Hampshire from 2011 to 2014. At UNH, he developed and coached two All-Americans and three Hockey East All-Star selections, including current NHL player Trevor van Riemsdyk of the Chicago Blackhawks. Tortorella also organized and coached the Wildcats’ defense and penalty kill that led the Hockey East and ranked second in the country in 2013, assisted in all aspects of recruiting and developed, implemented and managed all video technology and analytic systems.

Tortorella was most recently a volunteer assistant at Providence. With the Friars, he helped with scouting and video analysis, assisted with daily pre-practice goalie development and organized and implemented daily pre-practice sessions for forwards.

A former standout goalie at Maine, Tortorella began his coaching career at Brunswick High School (1984-87) before moving on to Cony High School, where he was a two-time state of Maine Coach of the Year in five seasons.

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