UConn men’s hockey coach Mike Cavanaugh isn’t going anywhere. On Thursday, Cavanaugh affirmed his commitment to the Huskies’ program amid reports that he’s a top candidate for the now-vacant position at Boston College following Jerry York’s retirement.
“My aspirations for this program are yet to be realized,” Cavanaugh said in a statement. “Our team has a tremendous amount of momentum behind it, a state-of-the-art facility coming online in less than a year, and outstanding support from university leadership and all of UConn nation. I am honored to be the UConn men’s hockey head coach and I am committed to continuing to lead this program into a bright future.”
On Apr. 12, York — the longtime head coach at Boston College — announced his retirement. After spending 18 years as an assistant under York before coming to UConn, Cavanaugh became one of the top options to replace him. That same day, a now-refuted report by Nathan Strauss, a student reporter at UMass, stated Cavanaugh would soon be named the new head coach of the Eagles.
However, multiple sources close to the head coach immediately disputed the report and were skeptical that he would leave UConn for BC — or any other program.
As more information trickled out, it became clear that Cavanaugh was a candidate but certainly not a lock for the job. As of Tuesday, Neutral Zone’s Russ Bitely mentioned Cavanaugh as one of two frontrunners.
According to a source, the Boston College job was Cavanaugh’s if he wanted it. He turned it down. Cavanaugh visited the school multiple times this past week and gave it serious consideration but ultimately, his heart’s at UConn. The coach has built the program from the ground up as he guided the Huskies from Atlantic Hockey — where they didn’t have scholarships to offer — to Hockey East.
If Cavanaugh succeeds at turning UConn into a national power, he’ll be a legend at the school. At Boston College, he would’ve forever been in York’s shadow.
Meanwhile, BC Hockey Blog reported there was “real interest” between Cavanaugh and Boston College but UConn came in with a better offer to keep him in Storrs.
I’m hearing from sources that there was real interest between BC and Cav- he interviewed on Monday and has lots of supporters in the BC admin. UConn stepped up with an enhanced offer. Would be very, very surprised if Brown isn’t the next coach.— BC Hockey Blog (@BCHockeyBlogger) April 21, 2022
However, Cavanaugh’s statement officially confirms he’ll stay at UConn.
The Huskies are coming off their best season in Hockey East. They finished in fourth place, won their first playoff game in the league, and advanced to the conference tournament final, where they fell to UMass in overtime.
While UConn lost a significant chunk of production to both graduation and the transfer portal, the future remains bright. The school will open a new on-campus rink next season and the Huskies believe they’re set to reload, not rebuild. So far, UConn has added three transfer forwards and will also bring in Matthew Wood, the team’s best prospect ever, a year earlier than expected along with six or seven freshmen.