Bazin Named Lowell's New Coach
CHN Staff Report
LOWELL, Mass. Norm Bazin was officially introduced as Massachusetts-Lowell's new head coach today, replacing Blaise MacDonald.
Bazin and U.S. Under-18 head coach Ron Rolston were the two finalists, according to sources.
"It's an honor and a privilege to be standing before you today as your new head coach, and to start a new chapter in UMass-Lowell hockey," Bazin said. "We've got a lot of things on campus that weren't exactly here when I left in 2000."
Bazin, most recently the head coach at Division III Hamilton College, is a Lowell alum and was a senior on UML's last NCAA tournament team (1994). He scored four goals each of his first three seasons, then broke out with 20 his senior year.
The job has been open since Lowell fired MacDonald following a five-win season. Bazin is hoping to turn that around immediately.
"We want to play a puck possession game that relies on speed and toughness," Bazin said. "There will be no easy points at Tsongas Arena. We intend to make this style of play our trademark, and intend to make Tsongas Arena a very tough place to get points for opposing teams."
At Hamilton, Bazin was named the 2009-10 NESCAC coach of the year as he guided Hamilton to a 15-9-2 overall record and the semifinals of the NESCAC championship. This past season, Bazin's third with the team, Hamilton was 14-7-4.
Bazin spoke about coming back to the place where he got his start, the differences since then, and what made him stand out in the hiring process.
"It's a little easier for me as an alum because I'm passionate about the school," Bazin said. "Having a passion for the school probably came out, and in the end, that probably made a difference.
"Having a vision of growth and development (for the school) is very important for the hockey program, because we plan to be a microcosm of that. To be a part of his growth and development is very exciting for myself and the staff and players. ... We're excited to show the results that will come. Progress will take some time. It will take a lot of work and determination. But I've been through it as a coach and player. it will come. ... I don't ask anything of my players that I don't ask of myself, and that's excellence on and off the ice."
The hiring of Bazin has already received widespread support in the hockey world, including from those like current Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson, a long-time friend and fellow Lowell alum of Bazin's.
"His work ethic is far beyond anybody's expectations, as a person, a player and a coach," Roloson said via video recording. "He'll do whatever it taeks to win. And as an alum, I'm so happy and honored he's there. ... Hopefully some day soon we'll be able to work together, and I'm looking forward to that day."
Prior to joining Hamilton, Bazin was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Colorado College from 2000-08. He was seriously injured in a car accident while on a recruiting trip in November 2003, and after a long recovery returned first as a volunteer assistant, then a full-time assistant again in July 2005. He took the Hamilton job in 2008.
Of the six Division I head coaching openings, only two have been filled so far — Lowell's and Michigan State's. Vacancies remain at Providence, Michigan Tech, Clarkson and the nascent Penn State program.