UMass hires St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel to lead hockey program

  • Former St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel, left, directs his team from behind the bench. UMass announced on Tuesday that Carvel will be its next hockey coach. COURTESY ST. LAWRENCE


Published: 3/29/2016 2:21:27 PM

AMHERST — After turning his undergraduate alma mater into an annual conference contender, Greg Carvel will try to do the same with his grad school.

UMass announced Tuesday that Carvel had been hired to replace John Micheletto as the head coach of the hockey program. Micheletto was fired earlier this month. The Minutemen will introduce Carvel at a press conference Thursday.

“This is an exciting day for our hockey program as we welcome Greg and his family to the University of Massachusetts.” UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said in a release. “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.”

Carvel amassed a 72-63-15 record in four seasons at his alma mater, including a 19-14-4 record in 2015-16. He inherits a UMass program that went 8-24-4 in 2015-16 under former coach John Micheletto.

Carvel, who spent seven seasons as an NHL assistant coach with Anaheim and Ottawa, has been the St. Lawrence head coach since 2011-12. He joined the Ducks’ scouting department in 1999 and rose to assistant coach in 2003. He has hired by the Senators in 2004 and stayed before being hired at St. Lawrence. The Ducks (2003) and Senators (2007) each reached the Stanley Cup finals during his time as an assistant. Both lost in the finals.

Carvel has local ties. While earning his master’s degree at UMass, he worked as an assistant at Amherst College in 1996. His wife Daina (formerly Gettier) is a 1989 graduate of Amherst Regional High School.

The Saints were 27-41-8 in the two years before he arrived, but he’s built them into an annual contender in the ECAC. He was the league’s 2014-15 coach of the year. Bamford’s father Steve is a longtime ECAC administrator, so the UMass AD almost certainly has a good feel for Carvel.

“I am very excited about the opportunity that exists for the University of Massachusetts hockey program and the potential for success here,” Carvel said in the same UMass release. “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, (former coach) Joe Marsh,” Carvel continued. “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 could end up facing his former team in November, St. Lawrence is in the Friendship Four along with UMass in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

UMass still has an ongoing search to hire a women’s basketball coach.

Matt Vautour can be reached at Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at

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