Blaise MacDonald Headed To Colby

Blaise MacDonald, assistant coach for the past year, is leaving Amherst to be a head coach again.  He’s now the head man at DIII Colby College.  MacDonald was of course the long-time coach at Lowell before being let go prior to last season.  Before that he was head coach at Niagara.  It’s of no surprise to me that MacDonald would leave so quickly from UMass.  He’s been a head coach for a long time.  Once you’ve run a program it’s rare that you’d want to go back to being an assistant for an extended period.  There were rumblings earlier in the Spring that he was considering a job in the USHL, but that never came to be.  Getting the Colby job will allow him to stay in New England.

MacDonald leaving eliminates the uncomfortable conversation of whether he would be considered the heir apparent if and when Toot Cahoon retires.  On one hand MacDonald has plenty of head coaching experience and is well thought of in coaching circles.  On the other hand he was let go from Lowell after never leading them to the NCAA tournament and having a number of talented teams that woefully underachieved.

Either way I thank Blaise for his year at UMass and wish him the best with the Mules (no seriously, that’s their mascot).

In the next day or two I’ll be putting together a list of some names I would like to see considered for the vacant assistant role.

In other recent news UMass officially announced next year’s recruiting class consisting of Shane Walsh, Evan Stack, K.J. Tiefenwerth, and Connor Doherty.  No surprise for those who read FTT regularly.  However the release is interesting in that we get Toot’s comments on the class.

“Doherty is a solid defender with good physical stature and a strong stick. He comes to us out of a program that has a history of producing quality defensemen.”

“Stack has the ability to score goals and is good around the net. He is a big body who will be a great physical presence for us in front.”

“Tiefenwerth has great vision on the ice. He is a playmaker who can set up his teammates, but will also score his share of goals.”

“Walsh possesses power play-type skills. With his ability to score, we can expect he will contribute offensively for us.”

Quickie may have had a beer or two too many before addressing a couple hundred thousand people at yesterday’s victory parade.

There have been a lot of great images surrounding the Kings’ victory.  None are more moving than this one.

Northeastern’s Steve Quailer has left school to join the Canadiens.



  1. Anonymous

     /  June 16, 2012

    WOW!! Two asst coaches in two years!! Is there a message there?


    • UMass was never going to be more than a quick stopover on the way back to becoming a head coach for Blaise.


  2. Bob

     /  June 17, 2012

    Hopefully somebody young and energetic


  3. Anonymous

     /  June 18, 2012

    Since no one is asking the question….why would the assistant coach of a D1 Hockey East team leave to coach a D3 team in Waterville, ME? Have you ever been to Waterville? This is by far the “last place on earth” when it comes to the college hockey world –

    Answer: there is something rotten in Amherst –


    • There are certainly questions about the department’s commitment to the program, as I wrote last week.

      But again, why would a 15 year head coach want to stay as an assistant long term? He almost took a DIII job last year before ever coming to Amherst.


      • jay

         /  March 10, 2013

        I wouldn’t say Waterville is “the last place on earth.” If there’s one thing they love and support in Maine – it’s hockey.


  4. Anonymous

     /  June 18, 2012

    rotten in amherst? no way – the cup is coming this summer…and a top 4 finish h/east 2012-2013 is on the way- go umass


  5. Anonymous

     /  June 18, 2012

    Seriously, he wasn’t gonna stay there long term. They also probably told him he wasn’t getting the job when toot leaves. The guy gets some stability in his life.


  6. John

     /  June 19, 2012

    With Coach Cahoon stepping down today, I wonder what Coach McDonald knew prior to going to Colby?


  7. Anonymous

     /  June 19, 2012

    Bring back Red.


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