DURHAM, N.H. - Brian McCloskey, who has served as associate men's hockey coach at the University of New Hampshire the past four years, has been named head coach of the women's hockey program, UNH director of athletics Martin Scarano announced Tuesday.
"We are very excited that Brian McCloskey will become UNH's third head coach of women's hockey," Scarano said. "Brian's coaching experience, recruiting process and motivational skills will serve the women's program well and help UNH hockey to return to national prominence."
"I am very excited by the opportunity to lead this storied hockey program and I am looking forward to working with these outstanding student-athletes," McCloskey said. "This is a unique period in women's ice hockey and I am thrilled to be able to play a part in the continued growth of this sport at UNH."
McCloskey, who earned a B.A. in International Relations at Dartmouth College in 1977, has been the Wildcats' top assistant and recruiting coordinator for a total of 10 seasons as he also was an associate coach from 1992-97. As a veteran assistant, he attracted elite talent to UNH that included UNH's first Hobey Baker Award winner, four Hobey Baker Award finalists, five All-America First Team selections, three Hockey East Rookie of the Year recipients and three of the top five all-time leading scorers in the program's history.
In addition to directing UNH's national recruiting program, McCloskey's other responsibilities over the last four seasons included assisting in all facets of game preparation with a primary focus on offense, evaluation of personnel and systems performance and expanding the scope of the off-season training program.
In 10 seasons at New Hampshire, McCloskey's contributions helped establish the 'Cats as a perennial national hockey power as evidenced by seven NCAA tournament appearances, three Frozen Four appearances (including one national title game), three Hockey East regular season titles and one Hockey East tournament championship.
"Clearly Brian's 10-year tenure at UNH has proven to all that his love of UNH and dedication to our philosophy is unparalleled," Scarano said.
Before rejoining the UNH men's program in 1998, McCloskey was the associate coach at Dartmouth College, where some of his duties included coaching the defensive unit and the special teams units.
McCloskey began his collegiate coaching career at Princeton University, where he was an assistant from 1979-81. From there he went to Brown University (1989-92) and helped rebuild the program from last place to an ECAC finalist within three years.
A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, McCloskey also spent seven years leading high school programs at North Yarmouth Academy (Yarmouth, Maine) and Portland High School (Portland, Maine). His 1988-89 North Yarmouth squad posted a 20-1-0 record en route to a Class A state title. Hockey Night in Boston named him Maine State Coach of the Year that same season.
McCloskey tallied 92 points in a three-year varsity career at Dartmouth after serving as captain for the freshman squad in 1973. He was a local standout in Vancouver, where he skated on four consecutive BC provincial championship teams and won Rookie of the Year honors in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League in 1972.
McCloskey served as director and head coach of Elite Hockey Schools, where he worked both women's and men's camps from its inception in 1988 through 1998. He also assisted as a coach at the Alaska Women's Camp in Anchorage from 1995-97.
McCloskey becomes the third head coach in the 25-year history of the UNH women's hockey program. Russ McCurdy compiled a 264-36-10 record from 1978-1992 and Karen Kay had a 215-90-25 record from 1993-2002.
Julie Sasner, currently serving as assistant coach of the U.S. national women's hockey team, and Stacy Wilson, assistant coach at University of Minnesota-Duluth, were other finalists in consideration for the UNH women's hockey head coach position.
"We were very fortunate to have had such a talented pool of candidates," Scarano said. "Any of the three finalists could have done the job and that is a tribute to the tradition of women's hockey at UNH."
New Hampshire is the winningest women's hockey program with a record of 479-126-35 in 25 years.