a college coach means a lot of things for Ted Donato, but mostly
it means he's home
introduced Ted Donato, who was skating for the Bruins just
three months ago, as its new coach Friday.
left Harvard for the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey
League and based his reasoning on issues such as stability, family
life, and loyalty. Many of those same reasons led Ted Donato to
succeed Mazzoleni as the head coach at Harvard.
13-year National Hockey League veteran of eight teams, is one
of the great players in Harvard's history and a born-and-raised
Bostonian. In what he admitted to being the twilight of his NHL
career, and with a potential work stoppage looming in the fall,
Donato's ears perked up when he heard the news of Mazzoleni's
All of a sudden,
Donato saw an opportunity to give himself and his family a permanent
home in the Boston area and an association with the university
that means so much to him. He's a former captain of the Crimson
and was named Most Valuable Player at the 1989 Frozen Four, the
year that Harvard won its only national championship.
big picture it was a life decision for me. I don't look at it
as a stepping stone. I have a chance to to bring some stability
to the lives of my wife and my four children and to stay close
to home. I feel very fondly about this place and this program,"
Born in Dedham,
and now residing in Scituate, Mass., Donato's mind never wandered
far from Harvard, even as his professional playing career crossed
from coast-to-coast. Being able to wrap up his career in a Boston
Bruins uniform allowed him to get closer to the program. Donato
said that he attended three or four Harvard games last season
and watched others on television.
there is the matter of changing gears from the sometimes glamorous
life of the NHL and shifting to the tedium of amateurism. Charter
flights to LAX and nationally-televised games are replaced by
bus rides to Schenectady, N.Y. and lonely recruiting trips in
the Canadian prairies.
a matter of different life challenges for me," he said. "I
think the NHL is the end result of amateur hockey and now I've
jumped back into the developmental level of hockey."
able to consult with close friends and colleagues in formulating
his decisions regarding NHL retirement and college coaching.
the great part of not being separated from hockey. I was able
to speak with people that I respected and trusted," Donato
were Bill Cleary, Bruins coach Mike Sullivan, and Dave Poulin
— people that have earned Donato's loyalty and respect.
Those same things that Donato will look to instill in Harvard's
hockey program in the coming seasons.