Canisius Hires Smith
Dave Smith as its new head coach at a news conference late Friday
afternoon. The 36-year-old had been an assistant coach and recruiting
coordinator at Mercyhurst, Atlantic Hockey’s version of
the Cradle of Coaches, the past three years and also spent time
on the staffs at Bowling Green and Miami.
Smith walks into the still-smoldering aftermath of the Golden
Griffins’ tumultuous 2004-05 season, during which longtime
head coach Brian Cavanaugh was fired for “irreconcilable
differences” with the players in December and athletic director
Tim Dillon resigned a couple of months later in the midst of an
investigation into the hockey team’s rabble-rousing trip
to North Dakota.
have to deal with the fallout of those incidents — and,
to a lesser extent, rumors that Canisius might be interested in
moving into College Hockey America — during his first year
on the job, but he will inherit a talented roster that is capable
of challenging for a league title.
is a very exciting moment for me as a coach and for my family,”
Smith, a native of Arthur, Ontario, said in a statement released
by the school. “We look forward to becoming a part of the
Canisius College community and the city of Buffalo. I am excited
to continue the strong tradition of Golden Griffin hockey and
the challenge of taking the program to the next level.”
16-15-4 overall and 14-7-3 in Atlantic Hockey last season, good
enough to tie for second place with, coincidentally, Mercyhurst.
But the Golden Griffins were upset by Bentley in the first round
of the conference playoffs, while the Lakers won the tournament
and nearly toppled No. 1 seed Boston College in the NCAA Tournament.
ranks 14th on Ohio State’s all-time points list with 140,
takes over at Canisius from interim coaches Clancy Seymour and
Stephen Fabiilli, who have run the program since Cavanaugh’s
dismissal. It is unclear whether Smith intends to retain Seymour
or Fabiilli on his staff.
is who will fill Smith’s spot at Mercyhurst. However, Lakers
head coach Rick Gotkin has had practice plugging such holes. In
the last several years, he’s lost Seth Appert (to Denver),
Greg Klym (to Union) and Mike Sisti (to the Lakers’ women’s
always a little bittersweet when something like this happens,”
Gotkin said. “But Dave is an awesome guy, and he’s
very much ready for this. He’s been a huge part of any success
we’ve had at Mercyhurst in the last few years. His fingerprints
are all over this program. He will be missed.”
he had already gotten about 20 inquiries about the assistant job
as of Friday afternoon, but he’s in no hurry to make a hire.