Hayward, who was an assistant with the USHL’s Bloomington Thunder, replaces Gene Reilly.
“I am thrilled to join the Colorado College staff,” Hayward said in a statement. “The opportunity to coach at the collegiate level has been a goal of mine for a long time. I look forward to helping this program achieve great things in the years to come.”
Hayward will begin his duties at the school immediately.
“We are excited that Leon has agreed to join our program,” added Tigers head coach Mike Haviland. “Having known him for a long time, I am confident that his knowledge of the junior player pool and recruiting experience will greatly benefit our team.”
Prior to joining the Thunder, Hayward spent three years as an assistant at Avon Old Farms School, a prep school located in Avon, Conn. He also served as the dean of enrollment at Avon Old Farms during that time.
Hayward played four seasons as a forward at Northeastern from 1998 to 2002, scoring 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) in 132 career games. He then spent six years playing professionally, including four in the American Hockey League, collecting 85 goals and 88 assists for 173 points.
One of the crowning achievements of his professional career came in 2004-05 when he led the Trenton Titans, coached by Haviland, to the ECHL’s Kelly Cup championship. Hayward was named the finals MVP and had 11 points in 20 playoff games that season.
From 2011-14, Hayward served as head hockey coach at The Governor’s Academy, a prep school in Newbury, Mass. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at the Taft School for three seasons before taking the top job at The Governor’s Academy and also has coaching experience outside of hockey in both lacrosse and football.
Hayward graduated from the D’Amore McKim School of Business at Northeastern with a concentration in entrepreneurship and earned a master’s degree in leadership with a concentration in nonprofit management from Northeastern in 2014.