Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bennett signs contract extension

by Ryan Fay

Union men's hockey head coach Rick Bennett has been rewarded for a job well done.

Bennett, who led the Dutchmen to their first NCAA championship last month, signed a two-year contract extension through the 2021-2022 season, the school announced Thursday.

In addition to the NCAA title, the Dutchmen finished the 2013-2014 season with a school-record 32 victories, the ECAC Hockey regular-season title, the ECACH tournament championship and the NCAA tournament East Regional title.

Bennett was named the 2013-14 Spencer Penrose Award winner by the American Hockey Coaches Association as national coach of the year. The 46-year-old also picked up Coach of the Year honors from College Hockey News and

In three seasons since succeeding Nate Leaman, Bennett has posted a 80-27-16 record, including a 19-2 mark in the postseason. He has guided Union to a pair of ECACH regular-season titles and three consecutive ECACH tournament championships. Union has made three straight NCAA tournament appearances under Bennett, including two Frozen Four berths.

"I could not be prouder of the accomplishments of this team both on and off the ice under Rick's leadership along with his staff," said Union athletic director Jim McLaughlin. "The success on the ice throughout his tenure has been remarkable and the student-athletes' achievements in the classroom and within the community have been equally impressive. His leadership goes far beyond the rink and we are very fortunate to have him at Union leading this program."

Contract signings are becoming an offseason tradition for Bennett. He previously inked a four-year contract in 2012 and a one-year extension last summer.

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