Bowdoin women’s assistant, longtime pro Whitmore named new assistant with Mercyhurst men’s team

Derek Whitmore got into coaching after a 10-year professional playing career (photo: Bowdoin Athletics).

The Mercyhurst men’s hockey team has added Derek Whitmore as an assistant coach.

Whitmore replaces Tom Upton, who left earlier this offseason for a USHL coaching job.

“I am very excited to welcome Derek to our coaching staff,” Mercyhurst head coach Rick Gotkin said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of knowledge to our program with his background and experience, both as a former Division I athlete as well as a professional player. I believe that Derek will make an immediate impact on our student-athletes with his knowledge, experience, hard work and passion.”

After a 10-year professional career, Whitmore spent last season as an assistant coach for the Bowdoin women’s hockey team.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Laker staff and the Mercyhurst community,” said Whitmore. “Coaching at the Division I level has always been something I wanted to do once my playing career came to an end, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity at Mercyhurst.

“First, I want to thank Marissa O’Neil for giving me an opportunity to coach with her. I learned a tremendous amount from her and what coaching at the collegiate level is all about. Thank you to all the student-athletes I had the luxury of coaching these last two seasons at Bowdoin as well as athletic director Tim Ryan and associate athletic director Alice Wiercinski and the rest of the athletic department. I also need to thank my wife Sarah for supporting me in this journey. When I retired in 2018, I knew I wanted to get into coaching and was fortunate to land at Bowdoin with the women’s team.”

Whitmore played four seasons at Bowling Green from 2004 to 2008 and finished with 102 career points on 70 goals and 32 assists.

His 10-year professional career spanned eight leagues including the NHL, where he played two games for the Buffalo Sabres in the 2011-12 season.

“There is such a rich tradition at Mercyhurst and within the men’s hockey program, and I am excited to help foster and develop the next wave of Lakers who come through Erie,” said Whitmore. “Rick and Greg [Gardner] have the program primed for some tremendous success in the near future, and I am looking forward to being a part of it and getting the opportunity to work with some great young men.”