On Tuesday, the University of Massachusetts Amherst announced that men's ice hockey coach Don "Toot" Cahoon has stepped down from his position.
"Through the course of our recent conversations, coach Cahoon and I mutually agreed that it would be in the program's best interest for him to take this action at this time," [UMass A.D. John] McCutcheon said. "I want to thank coach Cahoon for his many contributions to UMass and the community. He has positioned the program well for future success, both on and off the ice, and we are excited to continue to build on the foundation that he has put in place."
According to a report in College Hockey News, Cahoon was frustrated by a perceived lack of support for the hockey program at UMass. The school's move up to Division I-A and the MAC, combined with UMass' continued focus on men's basketball lead to Cahoon's frustrations. The final straw may have been UMass signing a deal with WEEI's Western Massachusetts radio affiliate to broadcast UMass football and basketball games, but not men's ice hockey.
Purely speculative, but I'm sure UMass men's lacrosse's perfect 15-0 regular season and #1 ranking going into the NCAA Tournament didn't help matters either.
In 12 seasons in Amherst, Cahoon compiled a 166-255-42 record, the most wins in program history. Last season, Cahoon led the Minutemen to a 13-18-5 mark and another Hockey East Tournament appearance, before bowing out to eventual National Champions Boston College in the Hockey East Quarterfinals for the ~15th straight season.
A national search for the program's next head coach starts immediately. And that's where it gets interesting for Boston College. You have to figure both the Eagles associate head coach (and York heir apparent?) Mike Cavanaugh and assistant coach Greg Brown will be in the running to take over for Calhoun at UMass. It will be very interesting to see where UMass goes for its next hockey head coaching hire. I'm hoping York and BC can hold onto both Coach Cav and Brown.
Three Hockey East programs -- UMass-Lowell, Providence and Northeastern -- made coaching changes last offseason. UMass-Lowell made this year's NCAA Tournament with first-year coach Norm Bazin earning Hockey East Coach of the Year honors.