UPDATED July 29, 2003
Hires Harvard's Leaman
win total grew steadily through five years under Kevin Sneddon,
a young, heralded coach with a Harvard background.
Dutchmen hope a similar formula produces more positive results,
as they turn to 30-year-old Harvard assistant coach Nate Leaman to replace
Sneddon, who left to become the head coach at Vermont. Union athletic director Val Belmonte
introduced Leaman as the school's next coach on Tuesday.
Leaman joins Union after four years as an assistant
at Harvard to head coach Mark Mazzoleni.
1999-2003: Assistant coach, Harvard
1998-99: Volunteer assistant coach, Maine
1997-98: Associate coach, OId Town (N.Y.) H.S.
Summers: USA Hockey Select teams
Bachelor's: Cortland State, 1997
Master's: Maine, 1999
think a lot of people realize how good he is," Mazzoleni
told Ken Schott of the Schenectady Daily Gazette. "He's
the real deal. Of all the people I've worked with, I think he
has the most impeccable work ethic and very, very thorough. He
may only be 30, 31 years old, but he's way beyond his years.
Val has hit a major home run with him."
Leaman played college hockey at Cortland State
(Sneddon had played at Harvard before beginning his coaching career
as a Union assistant). After a year as an associate coach at New
York’s Old Town High School, Leaman was a volunteer assistant
coach on Maine’s 1999 national championship team. He joined
the Harvard staff when Mazzoleni came on board in 1999-2000.
For the past
year at Harvard, since Ron Rolston left to become an assistant
at Boston College, Leaman has been Mazzoleni’s top assistant.
In that role, Leaman led the Crimson’s recruiting efforts,
worked with the team’s forwards and led its special teams
units. During his time in Cambridge the Crimson made two NCAA
Tournament appearances, won the 2002 ECAC Tournament and finished
second in the conference in 2002-03.
has experienced success with every program he’s been a part
of, making this an exciting transition with the continued growth
of Union hockey," Belmonte said. "He has distinguished
himself amongst his peers with his impeccable integrity, work
ethic, leadership skills and thorough knowledge of the game. Nate
is one of the up-and-coming coaches of his generation and we are
thrilled to have him on staff.”
"I believe the biggest challenge is the same challenge that I had when I went to Harvard, a program that is not used to winning on a consistent basis, to try to get them to play consistent and to teach people to win," said Leaman. "I think itís a challenge. Itís a lot of work, but itís a challenge Iím looking forward to."
a Union team that was 14-18-4 in 2002-03, finishing sixth in the
ECAC and hosting a first-round playoff series (which it lost to
Rensselaer). The team’s leading scorers, Jordan Webb and
Joel Beal, will be juniors in 2003-04, and its top two goaltenders
will be sophomores. Leaman is the program's fourth head coach
since it moved up to Division I in the 1991-92 season.