HAMDEN, Conn. - Quinnipiac University Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald has announced that Women's Ice Hockey Head Coach Rick Seeley has signed a contract extension through the 2014-15 season. Terms of the contract have not been disclosed. In his second season at Quinnipiac, Seeley's was honored with the ECAC Hockey and New England Hockey Writers New England Division I Coach of the Year awards.
"I am thrilled with my contract extension. Quinnipiac University has quickly become home for my family," Seeley said. "I feel so fortunate to enjoy the incredible support President John Lahey and Director of Athletics Jack McDonald have shown me and my program since I arrived here two years ago. I am excited about the direction our program is taking as we continue to establish Quinnipiac as one of the elite programs in ECAC Hockey, and the nation."
In 2009-10, Seeley
led the Bobcats to their best overall record (19-10-8) in team
history and the best conference record (11-4-5) since the team's
inception nine years ago. Since Quinnipiac established a women's
ice hockey program in 2001-02, no other Division I program has
improved by as many games.
"Rick and his staff have done a wonderful job in making the women's ice hockey team a success by elevating the athletic, academic and community service aspects of the program," McDonald said. "We have experienced record crowds, in addition to wins that resulted in the program's first ECAC Hockey Tournament appearance. The entire campus and surrounding communities look forward to continued success of our women's ice hockey team."
Last season, the Bobcats clinched third place in ECAC Hockey, hosting a tournament first-round series for the first time in program history. Through the regular season, the Bobcats allowed the fewest goals in the nation at 1.38 per game, while they scored 35 more goals (79) than the previous season (44), the largest increase and third-highest total in program history. In addition, Seeley helped guide Victoria Vigilanti to the ECAC Hockey Rookie and Goalie of the Year awards, as well as a First Team selection, after she finished the regular season ranked first nationally in goals-against average (1.24) and save percentage (.950), which was also the second best in ECAC Hockey history.
Seeley is the first coach in U.S. college hockey history, dating back to 1895, to lead his team, from one season to the next, to at least a 16 game improvement in both the win and loss columns (3-26-5 in 2008-09 to 19-10-8 in 2009-10).The University of Wisconsin men's program equaled this feat in the 1976-77 season, but head coach "Badger Bob" Johnson had taken a leave of absence the previous season to coach the U.S. Olympic team, bringing a few of his best players with him.
In the second half of the 2009-10 season, the Bobcats saw six consecutive weeks of votes in the USCHO.com and USA Today National Polls before ranking tenth in the poll on Mar. 1. The team also ranked first nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 1.38 goals per game, and saw the least amount of time in the penalty box, averaging 6.5 penalty minutes per game.
Seeley was also named the runner-up for the American Hockey Coaches Association Women's Division I Coach of the Year award. Seeley has built a reputation as the architect for several women's ice hockey programs, as he was the first head coach of the Clarkson and Manhattanville programs. In four seasons with Clarkson, Seeley guided the Golden Knights to four postseason appearances and guiding the team to the top of the ECAC Hockey standings. While at Manhattanville, he led the Valiants to the 2002 NCAA Division III National Championship game, earning ECAC East Coach of the Year honors, while finishing as the runner-up for the Division III Coach of the Year award.