NORTH ANDOVER — Merrimack College has signed head coach Mark Dennehy to a six-year contract extension, which will keep him with the Warriors through the 2015-16 season.
Dennehy is the reigning Co-Coach of the Year in Hockey East, sharing last year’s award with UNH head coach Dick Umile.
“My wife Heather and I couldn’t be happier,” Dennehy said. “We love the area, we love the school, it’s a great fit. We’re thrilled. Knowing that the administration and the athletic department has faith in where we are headed as a program, having things back on solid ground, is extremely rewarding.”
Athletics director Glenn Hofmann and President Chris Hopey approached Dennehy about a new deal.
“Glenn (Hofmann) and Chris (Hopey) approached me and that opened discussions,” he said. “It obviously means a lot that they have the faith in where we are going as a program to want to extend me for six years.”
Dennehy is in his sixth season behind the bench for the Warriors, taking over in 2005 for Chris Serino.
“It is very exciting to know that Mark Dennehy will be the leader of the Merrimack hockey program for at least the next six years,” said Director of Athletics Glenn Hofmann. “Mark has built this program the right way, taking no shortcuts during the process and instead has recruited students who are leaders in the classroom and among their peers on the Merrimack campus. The progress of the program on the ice speaks for itself and is a real credit to the philosophy that Mark has instilled with each of the men in our hockey program.”
Dennehy has become part of the Merrimack Valley since signing on as head coach over five years ago. He resides in Andover with his wife, Heather, and their three daughters – Kelsey, Kielan, and Caroline.
“We love it here,” he said. “My daughters are in the Andover public schools and I can’t begin to tell you about all the great people at Merrimack – like Fr. Jim (Wenzel) – that make this place a great community.”
Dennehy added, “I want to be a college hockey coach. A lot of guys want to go on and coach in the pros and that’s not where I am. I love coaching college hockey and doing it in the best league in the country. I love the interaction between academics and athletics. This is where my family and I want to be.
“I would like to thank President Hopey, Glenn Hofmann, my fellow coaches, as well as the players. It is extremely rewarding that the administration has seen the hard work being done and is excited about the direction of the program.”
Note: I’ll have more on Dennehy’s signing in tomorrow’s Eagle Tribune in my “On College Hockey” column.