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Hockey East | February 17, 2020

College hockey: Steve Metcalf named next commissioner of Hockey East

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WAKEFIELD, Mass. - Steve Metcalf, who has spent over two decades in athletic administration at the University of New Hampshire, has been named the fifth commissioner of the Hockey East Association.

A member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee since 2015 and currently its chair, Metcalf has served as the Wildcats’ deputy director of athletics for the past 10 years.

Metcalf will replace Joe Bertagna, who will close out the longest commissioner tenure in Hockey East history at the end of his 23rd season this spring.

“Simply put, Steve is a connector whose knowledge of hockey and our league is outstanding,” said Drew Marrochello, current chair of the Hockey East men’s executive committee and director of athletics at Boston University. “He has made strong impressions in several different circles during his time at UNH, and it was a true consensus decision to bring him on as our next commissioner. 

“We will all benefit from his wealth of experience in Hockey East as his strengths work well with our external populations, helping to illuminate our great product along with our community of coaches and administrators.”

In the deputy role, Metcalf oversaw all internal operations within the UNH athletic department as well as both ice hockey programs. He assisted with daily administration of all 20 of the Wildcats’ intercollegiate programs, including hiring of coaches, personnel management, budgeting priorities, fundraising initiatives, and monitoring of gender equity and diversity within the department.

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“I would like to thank the search committee for giving me this incredible opportunity to lead such a prestigious conference,” said Metcalf. “I couldn’t be more excited to get started and build on relationships throughout the great institutions that make up Hockey East. I would also like to acknowledge Joe Bertagna for his leadership over the past 23 years, leading this conference to where we are today. He has contributed so much to the game of college hockey. 


“My time at UNH has been rewarding on so many levels and I want to recognize director of athletics Marty Scarano for his mentorship and friendship during my time there.”

In recent years, Metcalf spent a significant amount of time working on various capital projects totaling over $50 million, including construction of Wildcat Stadium. He also oversaw event management and all UNH-hosted conference and NCAA championships. Under his leadership, UNH served as the host for three NCAA Women’s Frozen Fours and eight NCAA men’s ice hockey regional championships.

“I have known Steve for nearly two decades and have always enjoyed working with him,” said Bertagna. “He knows both the conference and the NCAA, and he will do a good job for the member institutions and the game of college hockey.”

At the conference and national level, Metcalf has served as chair for five significant committees, including those for NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey, women’s ice hockey and national collegiate skiing. He recently completed his second two-year term as chair of the America East Championships and Competition Committee, of which he has been a member since 2000. From 2006-08, Metcalf was the chair of the Women’s Hockey East Association Executive Committee.

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Metcalf has also collaborated with NCAA staff to attract championship events to both UNH and to other locations in the New England region, including the 2015 and 2022 Frozen Four tournaments to Boston.

“Hockey East will continue to grow and advance with Steve Metcalf as its new commissioner,” said Kristin Fasbender, the NCAA’s director of championships and alliances. “He has the unique experience of being the chair of both the men’s and women’s NCAA ice hockey committees, and his tireless contributions throughout the sport have been noticed by many. I’ve had the great opportunity of working with Steve throughout my 20 years in NCAA hockey and I look forward to continue working with him in this role.”

Metcalf was born in England and holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from UNH. He and his wife Diane, who is the deputy athletic director and senior woman administrator at Merrimack College, have two daughters, Lauren and Sienna.

A media conference call with Metcalf and Marrochello will take place Tuesday (Feb. 18) at noon. Metcalf will be formally introduced on Saturday, March 21, at TD Garden prior to the Hockey East men’s championship game.

What they’re saying about Steve Metcalf:

“Steve Metcalf is a highly regarded athletics administrator who has done many good things across college athletics. I’m excited to work alongside him in his new position as Hockey East Commissioner, helping us continue to elevate college hockey to new heights.”

- Josh Fenton, NCHC Commissioner

“Congratulations to Steve, and to Hockey East, on his appointment as Commissioner. It has been my privilege to work with Steve, and to get to know him, over the past two decades. He is a first-class individual, who I am certain shall do a tremendous job in guiding Hockey East. I look forward to working more closely with Steve in his new role.”

- Steve Hagwell, ECAC Hockey Commissioner

“Steve Metcalf is one of the most conscientious, hard-working, and committed professionals I have ever been associated with. UNH has benefited greatly over the years he has been a part of our leadership team and we will miss him. We are so pleased that he will become the next Hockey East Commissioner, for we know he will do a fabulous job of leading our prestigious group of institutions. While Steve’s fingerprints are all over UNH, he now has a great opportunity to apply that same skill set to lead Hockey East.

- Marty Scarano, UNH Director of Athletics

“I am thrilled for Steve and for Hockey East. Steve has great appreciation and passion for the conference and for the sport. His experience at UNH, with the league and on NCAA committees, has prepared him for this opportunity. Joe Bertagna has led our league to amazing success and I am excited to see continued success as Steve leads us into the future.”

- Hilary Witt, UNH Women’s Ice Hockey Head Coach

“Steve showed a great deal of detail in his pursuit of this position. His preparation and experiences at all levels of college hockey will continue to help him as he guides Hockey East going forward.”

 Norm Bazin, UMass Lowell Men’s Ice Hockey Head Coach

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