UMass Lowell brings back alum Blair as new director of hockey operations

UMass Lowell announced Wednesday the hiring of alum Ryan Blair as the River Hawks’ new director of hockey operations.

Blair replaces Troy Thibodeau, who took an assistant coaching job in the USHL.

In this position, Blair’s main responsibilities will include coordinating team travel, as well as academics, some video and various administrative responsibilities.

“Ryan displayed an eagerness and excitement for the position that was evident throughout the interview process,” said UML coach Norm Bazin in a statement. “As a hockey alum, he knows the commitment and dedication needed to be a successful athlete at UMass Lowell. He will be able to rely on past experiences to mentor our young men and we’re looking forward to adding such a quality person to our staff.”

Blair. a Toronto native, worked with the EHL’s Boston Jr. Rangers for the last three years, winning EHL Premier Coach of the Year honors in 2017-18 and helping the Jr. Rangers to a playoff championship in 2016 and 2018, as well as a regular-season championship in 2018.

“It is an honor to be back at UMass Lowell and something I take great pride in being a part of,” added Blair. “I want to thank Norm and his staff for giving me the opportunity to return to my alma mater and work with the hockey team. The culture and environment at UMass Lowell is something I am very excited to be apart of. I look forward to working with the players and staff this season.”

Blair, known as a stay-at-home defenseman, played in 141 games during his four-year career for UMass Lowell and accumulated 36 points (three goals, 33 assists) in a River Hawk uniform. He graduated from UMass Lowell in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Psychology and Sociology.

He is a Level 4 USA Hockey-certified coach and is also certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

After graduation, Blair played in the ECHL for three seasons with the Orlando Solar Bears, Reading Royals, Toledo Walleye, Wheeling Nailers and the Cincinnati Cyclones.