Union has extended the contract of head coach Rick Bennett through the 2022-23 season.
Bennett, who once again was tabbed as the ECAC Hockey Tim Taylor Coach of the Year for the second time in his career, guided the Dutchmen to a share of their fourth Cleary Cup title with a conference record of 16-4-2 last season. He was also a finalist for the 2016-17 Spencer Penrose Award, given annually to the NCAA Division I men’s coach of the year.
“We are very proud of Rick Bennett’s accomplishments at Union College,” said Union director of athletics Jim McLaughlin in a statement. “His tireless efforts have developed championship teams on the ice at the national level. Most importantly, he has developed fine young men who have succeeded in the classroom and as alumni in their chosen profession. Rick’s work speaks for itself and we are pleased that he will continue to be the leader of our men’s ice hockey program for years to come.”
“My family and I are extremely grateful for the support of president Ainlay, vice president Strom Thacker and athletic director Jim McLaughlin,” added Bennett. “It has been an honor to work with passionate coaches, players, and support staff during my time at Union College. I’d like to acknowledge again all the coaches and student-athletes who I’ve had the opportunity to work with. I cannot thank them enough for their contributions to this program. The current coaching staff made up of associate head coach Jason Tapp, assistant coach John Ronan and volunteer coach Matt Alvey are excellent coaches who make coming to the rink every day fun and challenging, which makes our student-athletes and staff better each day. This is certainly not about one person, it has been the hard work of many within the Union College men’s hockey family.”
Union was picked to finish seventh in last season’s ECAC Hockey preseason coaches poll and eighth in the media poll, but finished league play with a share of the Cleary Cup. The Dutchmen finished the regular season with an overall record of 25-10-3, marking Bennett’s program-record fourth 20-win season at the helm. Union competed in the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in Bennett’s tenure. Bennett is the second winningest coach in program history (137-69-30) and ranks fifth among active Division I coaches in winning percentage (.644).