ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quinnipiac extends Seeley's pact

Quinnipiac University Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald has announced that Women's Ice Hockey Head Coach Rick Seeley has signed a contract extension through the 2015-16 season. Terms of the contract have not been disclosed. In his third season at Quinnipiac, Seeley was a finalist for ECAC Hockey Coach of the Year honors as the Bobcats won a program-record 22 games.

"I am thrilled with my contract extension. Quinnipiac University has quickly become home for my family," Seeley said. "I feel so fortunate to enjoy the incredible support President John Lahey and Director of Athletics Jack McDonald have shown me and my program since I arrived here three years ago. I am excited about the direction our program is taking as we continue to establish Quinnipiac as one of the elite programs in ECAC Hockey, and the nation."

In 2010-11, the Bobcats experienced one of the most successful seasons in program-history, finishing with a record of 22-12-3 including a 12-9-1 mark in ECAC Hockey play. Quinnipiac was ranked 10th, the program’s highest-ranking of all-time, in the Division I Women’s Poll on January 17, 2011, a spot it held for two-consecutive weeks. In addition, Quinnipiac also captured its second Nutmeg Classic Championship in the history of the mid-season tournament.

"Rick and his staff have done a wonderful job in making the women's ice hockey team a success by elevating the athletic, academic and community service aspects of the program," McDonald said. " "This past season Rick, his staff and team brought Quinnipiac Women's Ice Hockey to new levels by winning the Nutmeg Classic Championship and advancing to the ECAC Hockey "Final Four" for the first time in program history. The entire campus and surrounding communities look forward to continued success of our women's ice hockey team."

With a 2-0 series sweep against Princeton in the best-of-three format of the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals, Seeley led Quinnipiac to the program’s first-ever semifinals appearance. The Bobcats fell to the eventual ECAC Hockey Tournament Champion, Cornell, 4-3, to conclude their remarkable season.

In 2009-10, Seeley, was named the ECAC Hockey Coach of the Year after leading the Bobcats to their best overall record (19-10-8) in team history and the best conference record (11-4-5) since the team's inception. Since Quinnipiac established a women's ice hockey program in 2001-02, no other Division I program has improved by as many games.. In three seasons at Quinnipiac, Seeley has compiled a 44-48-16 record; however, the squad has made drastic improvements in the past two years especially, accumulating a 41-22-11 overall mark during that span. In 12 seasons as a head coach, Seeley holds a career record of 206-131-38 and a 152-115-34 in Division I action.

Seeley is the first coach in U.S. college hockey history, dating back to 1895, to lead his team, from one season to the next, to at least a 16-game improvement in both the win and loss columns (3-26-5 in 2008-09 to 19-10-8 in 2009-10).The University of Wisconsin men's program equaled this feat in the 1976-77 season, but head coach "Badger Bob" Johnson had taken a leave of absence the previous season to coach the U.S. Olympic team, bringing a few of his best players with him.

In the second half of the 2009-10 season, the Bobcats saw six consecutive weeks of votes in the and USA Today National Polls before ranking tenth in the poll on Mar. 1. The team also ranked first nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 1.38 goals per game, and saw the least amount of time in the penalty box, averaging 6.5 penalty minutes per game.

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