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After spending one season with the UMass hockey program, assistant coach Blaise MacDonald has been hired as the new head coach for the men's hockey program at Colby College.

From Colby College's release:

Blaise MacDonald, who has Division I head coaching experience and has won national championships as a player and an assistant coach, was named Friday as the new head coach of men's hockey at Colby College.

MacDonald is the former head coach of Niagara University and University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He helped Boston University to a national championship at the NCAA Frozen Four in 1995 as an assistant coach. MacDonald, a 1985 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, led RIT to NCAA Division II titles in 1983 and 1985.

"I am thrilled to welcome Blaise MacDonald and his family into the Colby family," said Marcella Zalot, Colby's Harold Alfond Director of Athletics. "Blaise is a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience in building high-caliber programs. He will be a great addition to our staff and to the greater Colby community. I look forward to great success under Blaise's leadership."

The Billerica, Mass., native was recruited by Colby as a high school student-athlete, but had never been on campus until his job interview.

"What a tremendous community and a beautiful campus," MacDonald said. "The people that I met were so genuine, authentic, and caring."

MacDonald is the 18th head coach in program history since men's hockey was started at Colby in the 1922-23 academic year.

"It's very humbling to me to know that someone like Jack Kelley was the head coach at Colby," MacDonald said. "Then you have Charlie Holt and more recently Jim Tortorella. I've known Jim for a long, long time and his values and beliefs (in coaching) are a very succinct match with what I believe in."

The hiring was also covered by several media outlets:
MassLive.com - Former UMass hockey assistant Blaise MacDonald calls time at UMass 'amazing'
USCHO.com - Former Niagara, Mass.-Lowell coach MacDonald hired to guide Colby
Daily Hampshire Gazette - Blaise MacDonald headed to Colby

Dick Baker provides his perspective of the addition of Blaise MacDonald to the UMass hockey coaching staff with this blog entry on MassLive.com:

The addition of MacDonald gives the Minutemen three coaches with collegiate head-coaching experience. Len Quesnelle, the other assistant coach, formerly was the head coach at Princeton. 

Ironically, UMass head coach Don "Toot" Cahoon was responsible for bringing MacDonald in as an assistant coach at Boston University during the 1990-91 season when Cahoon was an assistant there. 

They were there together one year, collaborating on a tremendous recruiting class that would go on to win a national championship a few years later. Cahoon then took over as the head coach at Princeton while MacDonald stayed on at BU through the 1995-96 campaign before leaving for Niagara.


Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has this story on the hiring of Blaise MacDonald as assistant coach of the UMass hockey team.

To fill his new vacancy, University of Massachusetts hockey coach Toot Cahoon turned to an old friend.  

The Minutemen announced the hiring of former UMass-Lowell head coach Blaise MacDonald to fill the assistant coach role that opened when Red Gendron left to become the associate head coach at Yale.  

"It works out great for both of us. We have a working relationship and it should be seamless in terms of making the transition," Cahoon said. "He's a real fine teacher and coach."

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