Future? Up Next at Harvard
hockey players opened their e-mail inboxes on Tuesday morning, they
read the news that most people around college hockey expected. The
program's head coach for the last five seasons, Mark Mazzoleni,
was leaving the Crimson to take the same position with the Green
Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League.
the search is already underway for a head coach of a program with
a 104-year history that includes the 1989 NCAA Championship and
three Hobey Baker Memorial Award winners.
assistant coach Ron Rolston
As is the case
when any head coaching position opens, it didn't take long for the
speculation to begin as to who would be Harvard's next head coach;
in fact, much had taken place prior to Mazzoleni's official announcement.
Several credible sources who spoke to Inside College Hockey on the
condition of anonymity all pointed to Ron Rolston as the lead candidate
for the position.
assistant under Jerry York at Boston College, spent three years
as an assistant coach at Harvard, where his recruiting prowess and
work with the team's defensive schemes and penalty killing helped
the Crimson improve each year. He left Cambridge in the summer of
2002 to join York's staff with the Eagles.
Rolston is a
1990 graduate of Michigan Tech and was an assistant at Lake Superior
State and Clarkson University prior to joining Harvard's staff when
Mazzoleni became coach in the summer of 1999. Rolston did not return
a phone message left by INCH earlier this week.
of Athletics Bob Scalise chose not to comment on the details of
the search process.
Harvard captains are also considered to be viable candidates.
assistant Sean McCann, a 1994 graduate of Harvard where he was a
Hobey Baker finalist, has been a part of the Harvard coaching staff
for the last two seasons.
coach Kevin Sneddon captained the Crimson during his senior season
in 1992 and was a freshman on the 1989 national championship team.
He spent five years as head coach at Union College before joining
Vermont last summer.
Bruin and Harvard alum Ted Donato
The third has
no coaching experience. Boston Bruins forward Ted Donato is a 1991
graduate of Harvard and also played on the school's only National
Championship team. The 13-year NHL veteran's first choice would
be returning to the Bruins, according to Peter Fish, an ex-Boston
University goalie and one of Donato's agents with Global Hockey
Consultants, but the opportunity has peaked his interest.
and foremost, if there is a season next year, Teddy would like to
be back with the Bruins and I think the Bruins would like to have
him back," Fish said. "But with the uncertainty about
the collective bargaining agreement, Teddy has to look out for what's
best for him.
heard and what he has heard at this point is mostly rumor, but Teddy
is one of a number of people who would be interested."
Fish said that
Donato, who declined comment, has long considered coaching an option
after his playing career, and said that he has what it takes to
has always been a guy who would love to get involved in coaching
once he's done playing," Fish said. "He'd be good with
the kids, good with the community, and good with the alumni at Harvard."
Nate Leaman is not a candidate for the position. The four-year Harvard
assistant under Mazzoleni and current head coach at Union College
said that he's not interested in pursuing the Harvard job.
it would be real tough for me. There's a lot of momentum at Union
right now," Leaman said.
There are several
other names who sources have mentioned as possibilities, including
Harvard alumni Ben Smith, the current head coach of the U.S. women's
national team, and Tim Taylor, the longtime coach at Yale. Stan
Moore, the interim head coach at Colgate this past season and a
two-time ECAC Coach of the Year. There's also the possibility that
Scalise could surprise everyone with his choice, as Princeton did
in hiring Guy Gadowsky and Harvard did when it named Mazzoleni five
center Tom Cavanagh said the uncertainty surrounding the team's
next coach won't have an impact on off-season preparations or outlook
for the upcoming campaign.
is a very close bunch of guys and we're all on the same page anyway.
It was a loss that coach left, but all of the guys are so close,"
Cavanagh said. "We've always had high expectations since I've
been here and we're going to have them next year too."
era included three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and two
ECAC Championships. The graduating class of 2004, which was the
first to be fully recruited by Mazzoleni and his staff, is the only
class in school history to graduate with two ECAC titles.
felt that it was a family decision," Cavanagh said. "He
felt that it was the right move for him and his family at this point
in their lives."
contributed to this report.