AMHERST, Mass. – National Hockey League coaching veteran and former Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Defensive Forward of the Year and Coach of the Year Greg Carvel has been named the 14th ice hockey head coach at UMass, it was announced by Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford on Tuesday. Carvel will be introduced and address the media at a press conference on Thursday.
“This is an exciting day for our hockey program as we welcome Greg and his family to the University of Massachusetts.” Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford said. “Greg’s extensive pro and college hockey experience, including considerable success as a player and coach, will serve him well as the leader of our program for years to come.”
“I look forward to working closely with Greg and his staff to place the Commonwealth’s Flagship hockey program in a position of sustained success in Hockey East and beyond,” Bamford added.
Carvel spent the past five seasons at St. Lawrence University, also his alma mater. He boasts a head coaching record of 72-63-15 over four seasons. Prior to his return to Canton, New York, also his hometown, he spent 15 seasons in the professional ranks. He made two trips to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals while a member of the staff in Anaheim and Ottawa.
Carvel’s college coaching resume includes four All-Americans, two ECAC Rookies of the Year, an ECAC Player of the Year, three Hobey Baker finalists and one Hobey Hat Trick finalist. The Saint coach was selected as an assistant coach for the 2015 U.S. Men’s National Team and spent the better part of May 2015 in the Czech Republic, joining Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards and Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma in leading the U.S. squad to a bronze medal finish.
“I am very excited about the opportunity that exists for the University of Massachusetts hockey program and the potential for success here,” Carvel said. “I was very impressed with the vision and energy of Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford and his desire to succeed in Hockey East. I feel that I bring a wide range of coaching experience and proven success at the collegiate, professional and international levels.”
“As an alumnus of St. Lawrence University, I leave with a heavy heart and great appreciation for what the university has done for me, in particular, Joe Marsh,” Carvel added. “The University of Massachusetts will provide me with the next opportunity to help rebuild a hockey program that has great potential for success. Having earned my master’s degree from UMass, I am well aware of the prestige of the school and its desire to have a championship-caliber hockey program at a Top 30 Public Research University.”
Carvel, who also holds a master’s degree in sport management from UMass’ Isenberg School of Management, took over an 11th-place team in 2011-12 and has since guided the Saints to eighth, fifth, second and fourth place finishes, respectively. In 2015-16, his club finished with a record of 19-14-4 and a final NCAA Pairwise ranking of 19th. The three ECAC teams that finished ahead of SLU advanced to the NCAA tournament.
He began his professional coaching career as director of hockey operations for the Lowell Lock Monsters of the American Hockey League. He joined the Anaheim Ducks as scouting coordinator in May of 1999, adding video coordinator to his duties in 2002 and earning a promotion to assistant coach in 2003. He joined the Ottawa Senators as an assistant coach in 2004 and was on the staff until the summer of 2011. Both the Ducks and the Senators made it to the Stanley Cup Finals during his time as an assistant coach.
A former Saint captain and the first CoSIDA Academic All-American in SLU program history, Carvel is the first ECAC Coach to have won a major league award as a player and its Coach of the Year Award. He was the 1993 Outstanding Defensive Forward award winner. He had 38 goals and 85 assists for 123 points in 131 collegiate games.
Carvel played one year of professional hockey in Sweden and then became assistant athletic director and assistant hockey coach at Canterbury Prep. He went on to earn a master’s degree in sport management at the University of Massachusetts in 1998 and was an assistant coach at Amherst College in 1996 while pursuing his degree.