MacDonald, Army Appear to Be Out
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
Massachusetts-Lowell and Providence will both be looking for new head coaches, according to sources.
Providence's decision to part ways with Tim Army, a former standout for the Friars, is more imminent. Athletic director Bob Driscoll, who is also the current chair of the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Committee, is currently dealing with the job status of men's basketball coach Keno Davis. It is presumed he'll handle Army's situation next.
Meanwhile, Lowell is holding talks this week with coach Blaise MacDonald, and is expected to announce its decision soon.
"Blaise and I have been in discussions this week about the program and nothing has been decided," Mass.-Lowell athletic director Dana Skinner told CHN.
Each school would need to negotiate out of the final year of the coach's contract.
Providence and Mass.-Lowell were the bottom two teams in Hockey East this season.
Lowell finished last with a 4-21-2 record (5-25-4 overall), and failed to make the playoffs. It's the worst showing, percentage-wise, in the program's history, and the fewest wins since the second season of existence in 1968-69.
MacDonald came to Lowell from Niagara, where he built that program from scratch into a 30-win at-large NCAA team in 1999-2000. One year later, he accepted the job at Lowell after current Maine coach Tim Whitehead was let go.
MacDonald had three 20-win seasons with the RiverHawks, but failed to make the NCAAs in any season. His job status was previously in jeopardy following a DUI arrest after the 2007 season, but Skinner decided to retain him.
All told, MacDonald is 241-236-59, including 150-178-42 at Lowell.
Army replaced Paul Pooley for the 2005-06 season, and had a strong first season with 17 wins. But the Friars haven't matched that since, and finished 8-18-8 (4-16-7 HEA) this season.
Army, a star for the Friars in his playing days, came to Providence from the pro coaching ranks. He is 66-116-28 in six seasons behind the Friars' bench.