Princeton Picks Prier to Fill Coaching Vacancy
CHN Staff Report
PRINCETON, N.J. Princeton has tapped St. Lawrence assistant coach Bob Prier as its new head coach. He will be formally introduced at an 11 a.m. Tuesday news conference at Princeton.
Prier, who previously served a stint as a Princeton assistant, replaces Guy Gadowsky, who left to become the first coach at Penn State's new program.
"I would like to thank (athletic director) Gary Walters and the advisory committee for giving me this opportunity," Prier said in a statement. "I sincerely appreciate the confidence that they have shown in me to become the next head coach at Princeton. It is an unbelievable opportunity for both my family and me and we look forward to becoming reacclimated with Princeton University and its hockey program. I also would like to thank all the coaches and players that I have worked with in the past as it is their influence that brings me here today."
Sources indicate that former Mass.-Lowell coach Blaise MacDonald, U.S. Under-18 coach Ron Rolston, and current Colorado College assistant Joe Bonnett were also under consideration. Princeton alumnus Darren Yopyk — one of the few former Tigers in the coaching ranks — was interested in the position, but the current British Columbia Junior Hockey League head coach ran into immigration issues and his interview was derailed.
Prier will take over a Princeton program that is currently in its best five-year run in program history. Princeton last three graduating classes have each completed their college careers as the winningest class in program history.
"The Princeton hockey program is in a terrific state," Prier said. "As a coach in the league, I have witnessed first hand the quality of player on the Princeton roster. They work hard and are fun to watch. Guy Gadowsky and his staff have done a fabulous job building the program. I appreciate it very much and look forward to continued success."
Prier graduated from St. Lawrence in 1999, and was captain of a team that reached the NCAAs its senior season. He had a pro career cut short due to injury, and spent time working in his hometown of Nepean, Ontario, after graduating. He then spent one season on Denver's staff, then one season under Len Quesnelle at Princeton before finally going back to St. Lawrence in 2002.
A second-team All ECAC selection as a senior, Prier was the leading scorer for the Saints that season with 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points. In 133 college games, Prier had 116 points on 60 goals and 56 assists.
Gadowsky gave the move his ringing endorsement.
"I am thrilled to hear of the hiring of Bob at Princeton," Gadowsky said. "He's a great all-around guy and he is a man of a lot of substance. I have really enjoyed watching his teams compete and play over the past seven seasons. They play an exciting brand of hockey, which will fit in perfectly with what Princeton fans and alumni have come to expect in the past few years."
Prier's wife, Lorenda, was one the goaltending coach for the Princeton women's hockey team, and an assistant coach at St. Lawrence.