Quinnipiac University named Rick Seeley its new women’s ice hockey coach last Tuesday. Seeley replaces former coach Michael Barrett, who stepped down at the end of the season and accepted a position as director of development in the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald says the university is excited about Seeley’s hiring.
“I know that everybody at Quinnipiac, particularly our student-athletes, our athletics department and our fans are very excited that Rick Seeley has been offered and accepted the head women’s ice hockey position,” McDonald said.
“I think with change comes renewed excitement,” Seeley said. “I don’t know the situation before, I don’t know the players beyond breaking them down on video. But I anticipate a group that’s excited about a new challenge and wanting to be a part of it.”
Quinnipiac used search firm DHR International to help them land Seeley. DHR International is the same company that helped the Bobcats land former UConn assistant basketball coach Tom Moore as their men’s basketball coach last coach.
Seeley joins the Bobcats after helping to start the women’s ice hockey program at Quinnipiac’s ECAC rival Clarkson. While at Clarkson, Seeley helped to turn the Knights into one of the top programs in the league as they finished as the ninth ranked team in the country.
Clarkson is only one of the stops along Seeley’s career where he has started a program that enjoyed success quickly. Before Clarkson, Seeley built a program at Division III Manhattanville that went 54-16-4 during his tenure and made it to the Division II championship game. Seeley will look to turn the Quinnipiac program around that has yet to make it to the ECAC playoffs in its first three years in the league.
“The first thing I have to do is get there, meet with the players and get a sense where they are at in the process, ” Seeley said. “The goal is to get everyone there to be successful and to buy in.”
Seeley was not only impressed with the TD Banknorth Sports Center when he his team played there this season, but he also likes the direction the university is heading toward in academics as well.
“I think Quinnipiac is one of the best kept secrets in the northeast,” Seeley said. “I’m just excited by the progressive vision that President Lahey, Jack (McDonald) and Val (Belmonte)share and I look forward to bringing the women’ ice hockey program to the standards that are expected.”
With the 2007-08 season just ending and the new season fast approaching, Seeely said he has already jumped into the recruiting last Monday night when he knew he would take over as coach.
Even before he brings in any new recruits, Seeley will have a good crop of talent returning to the team next year. The Bobcats who were a young team will return most their scoring including there top four scorers in Elyse Cole, Trudy Reyns, Kallie Flor and Brandice Moniz, who all had 15 or more points last season.
Seeley knows his choice to head down from upstate New York has certain repercussions; in particular that he has to face his old team from Potsdam, NY twice next year.
“I’ll be their biggest fan, except for two games of the year,” Seeley said. “The problem is, I know they’re going to be geared up to kick our butts, too. It was a tough decision to leave that team.”