Union Moves Quickly to Promote Bennett to Head Coach
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. Union has named Rick Bennett its new head coach today, as first reported by College Hockey News.
Union was left with a vacancy when Nate Leaman, its coach of eight years, decided to leave to fill Providence's head coaching vacancy. That news was learned earlier today.
Wasting no time to fill the void, Union promoted Bennett, who has been Leaman's assistant for the past six seasons. Bennett was part of a staff that helped lead Union to unprecedented heights in Division I, including last year's ECAC regular-season championship, a school-record 26 wins, and its first NCAA Tournament berth.
“I am very pleased to receive this opportunity,” Bennett said. “Union College is a special place and it has been an honor to be a part of this program as we have developed it not only regionally in our league but also nationally. We bring in the finest young men to the college, and these individuals have brought us to where we are today.”
Bennett is a graduate of Providence, and had been mentioned early on as a possible candidate for the Providence job. He also interviewed for the Massachusetts-Lowell vacancy, according to reports.
Bennett scored 50 goals and 134 points in four seasons at Providence, ending in 1990. He went on to a 10-year pro career, which included 15 NHL games, all with the New York Rangers.
After finishing playing, he came back to Providence as an assistant coach under Paul Pooley. When Pooley was let go, Bennett landed at Union.