Don "Toot" Cahoon enters his 11th season at the helm of the University of Massachusetts hockey program, and his 24th overall. Under his guidance, UMass achieved its best season in school history in 2006-07 capped by a berth to the NCAA Tournament and the Minutemen's first NCAA win - a 1-0 overtime victory over Clarkson in the tournament's first round. Perhaps the most impressive statistic in Cahoon's eight years, however, have been the 73 Hockey East Academic All-Conference performers that have played under him, including five Distinguished Scholars and six Academic All-Star Team Members. He has also coached members of the University's prestigious Commonwealth College.
As head coach of the Minutemen, Cahoon has taken the program to new levels nationally and in Hockey East. In 2007-08, UMass earned its highest national ranking ever, No. 5, after a terrific start to the season and wins over Notre Dame and Colorado College for the Lightning College Hockey Classic Championship. It was the second time under Cahoon that the Minutemen had been ranked among the top seven teams in the country (the previous high ranking was No. 7 in 2003). Along with that, the Marblehead, Mass., native took UMass to its first ever NCAA Tournament in 2006-07 where the Mass Attack defeated Clarkson in the first round.
Part of the success that Cahoon has brought to UMass is in part to several All-American players during his tenure. Four of the seven All-Americans in program history have come during Cahoon's 10 years in Amherst: Thomas Pock (2004), Jon Quick (2007), James Marcou (2009) and Justin Braun (2010). Additionally, Pock and Quick also represented the program as participants in the Winter Olympics. Pock played for Austria in 2002, while Quick earned a spot on Team USA in 2010.
The 2006-07 campaign was one for the record books under Cahoon that fans will never forget. UMass posted it's highest win total ever for a season (21) as part of the NCAA Tournament run. All told, 10 of those wins were against ranked teams. Cahoon guided the Minutemen to the Hockey East Tournament and to the program's second-ever berth to the HEA Semifinals. Another highlight of the unforgettable season was goaltender Jon Quick becoming just the fifth-ever All-American player (second in the modern era) for UMass when he was named to the RBK Division I Second-Team. With the team's success came a special honor for Cahoon as well as he was named the Coach of the Year by the New England Hockey Writers Association - his second such honor.
The 2008-09 campaign started with a 5-2-1 record including wins over No. 5 North Dakota and No. 1 and eventual National Champion Boston University, but the Minutemen struggled to find consistency throughout the year. The Mass Attack finished with a 6-6 mark against teams ranked in the nation's top-5 proving the Minutemen could play against the nation's elite. Sophomore James Marcou became just the sixth player in program history to earn All-America honors after he led the league in scoring - the first time a UMass player has led Hockey East in points.
The 2005-06 Minutemen gave fans some of the most memorable wins over ranked opponents in the program's history. UMass defeated then-No. 3 Boston College, No. 3 Colorado College, No. 5 Vermont, No. 9 New Hampshire, No. 13 Vermont and No. 14 Boston University. Marvin Degon also became one of the most prolific defensemen in the nation, heading to the AHL after the season concluded.
In the three seasons prior, the Minutemen registered a 41-52-9 overall record and they were ranked for most of the 2003-04 season and reached the Hockey East title game, falling in an epic three-overtime battle against Maine. The 2002-03 squad advanced to the Hockey East Semifinals for the first time in school history and recorded the highest Hockey East finish in school history. For his efforts, Cahoon was named Hockey East Coach of the Year and New England Coach of the Year.
The 2001-02 edition of the UMass hockey team was a young squad that earned eight wins throughout the season. However, the Minutemen were extremely competitive, appearing in 13 one-goal games. The 2001-02 team also captured Hockey East's prestigious Charles E. Holt Team Sportsmanship Award for the first time in school history.
In his first year with the Minutemen, he guided UMass to an 8-22-4 record, including seven Hockey East wins, which was the second-most league wins in school history.
Cahoon came to UMass from Princeton, where he rebuilt the Tigers struggling hockey program. He led the Tigers to their first-ever ECAC Tournament title, as well as the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1998, and produced five seasons of 18-plus wins over the last nine years.
Cahoon made an immediate impact when he took over the coaching reins at Princeton in 1991. During his first season as the head coach, he led the Tigers to a 12-14-1 overall record and the ECAC quarterfinals. In 1994-95, Cahoon's Tigers beat then-top-ranked and unbeaten Maine in Orono in the Dexter Classic championship game en route to their first winning season in over a quarter century. It also marked the first time in school history that Princeton advanced to the ECAC finals. Following the season, Cahoon was named a finalist for American Hockey Coaches Association Division I Coach of the Year honors. In 1997-98, Cahoon guided Princeton to its first-ever ECAC title and first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. His teams have also enjoyed success in regular season tournaments. While at Princeton, the Tigers won the Dexter Classic (1994), the Capital District Christmas Classic in Ottawa (1995) and the Mariucci Classic (1998).
Prior to his head coaching position at Princeton, Cahoon served as an assistant under Jack Parker at Boston University, helping guide the Terriers to the 1990-91 NCAA national championship game, which they eventually lost in three overtimes. The 1990-91 season at Boston University marked Cahoon's third stint as an assistant with the Terriers. He was also an assistant there from 1974-79 and during the 1987-88 season. Cahoon was primarily responsible for recruiting the players on the 1977-78 team that won the NCAA championship.
He began his coaching career as the head coach at Lehigh University (1973-74) where he guided the Engineers to the Mid-Atlantic Conference title with a 10-5-2 record before moving on to Boston University.
Cahoon then became the head coach at Norwich University from 1979-82, where he compiled a 48-35-2 record while leading Norwich to the ECAC Division II playoffs in each of his three seasons. In 1982, Cahoon went overseas to serve as the director of hockey operations and head coach of the Vienna Ice Club in the Austrian Ice Hockey Federation where he led the team to a 23-12-2 record. He returned to the United States the following season as an assistant at the University of Lowell, where he stayed until 1986.
Cahoon has scouted for the then-Minnesota North Stars of the National Hockey League and the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team. He also served as head coach of the 1990 U.S. Select 16 Team. Cahoon has coached two U.S. Olympic Festival teams in 1982 and 1990 and was an assistant for the U.S. Junior National Team in 1991 and 1995.
A 1972 graduate of Boston University with a B.S. in education, Cahoon played left wing for the Terriers, earning two national championship rings as an instrumental part of both the 1971 and 1972 NCAA championship teams. Following his career with the Terriers, Cahoon represented the United States at the 1972 World Championships, helping the national team to capture the silver medal in Bucharest, Romania. He then signed a contract with the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association after graduation.
Cahoon was born April 13, 1949, in Lynn, Mass. He graduated from Marblehead High School before attending Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H.
He and his wife, Cindy, have two children, Christopher (31) and Heidi (30), and three grandkids, Jason (14), Makayla (11) and Shaun (6). The Cahoons reside in Amherst.
1991-2000 Head Coach
1990-91, 1987-88, 1974-79 Assistant Coach
1983-86 Assistant Coach
1982 Head Coach
1979-82 Head Coach
1973-74 Head Coach
1995, 1982 Head Coach (East Team)
1995, 1991 Assistant Coach
1990 Head Coach
1989 Assistant Coach
Last updated: June 3, 2010