Bill Gilligan enters his sixth season on the University of Massachusetts coaching staff. Prior to coming to UMass, Gilligan spent 19 years as a coach and general manager in Europe.
Gilligan had an All-America playing career at Brown University, becoming the school's all-time leading scorer and assists leader, both distinctions of which he still holds today. After graduating from Brown in 1977, Gilligan played for Cincinnati of the WHA for two years before the league merged with the NHL in 1979. Following his time in the WHA, Gilligan relocated overseas to Europe and played professionally in Austria and Switzerland for five years. He also played for the U.S. National Team in both 1978 and 1983.
Following his playing career, Gilligan started his coaching career as head coach of the Klagenfurt (Austria) Hockey Club and led the team to four Austrian championships. He coached Herbert Pöck, the father of current Minuteman senior Thomas Pöck, while at Klagenfurt. He also served as an assistant coach on the Austrian National Team.
For the next four years, Gilligan moved on to Switzerland, coaching the Bern Hockey Club to three Swiss championships and one second-place finish. Between 1992 and 1994, he served as the head coach of the Swiss National Team and guided his squad to a fourth-place finish in the 1992 World Championships.
Following his coaching stint with the national team, Gilligan became the general manager of the Bern Hockey Club and was responsible for running all aspects of the team's operation, including scouting, negotiating contracts and hiring coaches. He also served as the head coach of the Swiss Junior National Team and led it to a third-place finish in the 1998 World Junior Championship. Gilligan grew up in Beverly, Mass., and played hockey at Beverly High School before going to Brown.
Born August 5, 1954, Gilligan resides in Amherst with his wife, Jennifer, their son, Patrick, and newborn daughter, Mackenzie.