Former Miami coach, current Providence staffer Blasi named first coach for St. Thomas’ men’s Division I college hockey team

Enrico Blasi (Miami - Head Coach) - The Miami University RedHawks practiced on Friday, April 10, 2009, during the 2009 Frozen Four at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. (Melissa Wade)

St. Thomas announced Friday the hiring of Rico Blasi as its new men’s hockey head coach.

Blasi will lead the Tommies’ transition into Division I hockey play starting next fall as UST is moving to Division I in all sports starting with the 2021-22 season.

The 49-year-old Blasi will join the Tommies from Providence, where he has served since October 2020 as the associate athletic director for men’s and women’s hockey.

Blasi averaged 20 wins a season over his 20-year era as Miami head coach (1999-2019). The 2005-06 national coach of the year, Blasi took the RedHawks to 10 NCAA tournament appearances highlighted by one championship game berth (2008-09) and one other Frozen Four appearance (2009-10).

He was Division I hockey’s youngest head coach in 1999 when at age 27 he was hired at Miami, his alma mater.

Blasi will make a return to the CCHA, where he won five league coach of the year honors during his first 14 seasons.

The original CCHA disbanded after the 2012-13 season, but a new CCHA was announced this year. St. Thomas is one of eight members of the new CCHA which starts play in 2021-22.

The Tommies led NCAA Division III men’s hockey programs in all-time victories, and just completed their 39th consecutive winning season. Jeff Boeser, who coached St. Thomas the last 11 seasons, announced last fall his plans to retire at the end of the 2020-21 season.

St. Thomas will formally introduce Blasi on Tuesday, April 6 at a 1 p.m. CST news conference on its St. Paul campus.