Hockey head coach Don “Toot” Cahoon stepped down June 19 from his position, according to athletic director John McCutcheon.
"Through the course of our recent conversations, coach Cahoon and I mutually agreed that it would be in the program’s best interest for him to take this action at
this time,” McCutcheon said. “I want to thank coach Cahoon for his many contributions to UMass and the community. He has positioned the program well for future success, both on and off the ice, and we are excited to continue to build on the foundation that he has put in place.”
“Its been an honor to coach and work with so many fine student-athletes over the last 12 years here at UMass,” Cahoon said. “Their efforts and the efforts of the faculty, staff and community members will be fond memories of my time here at Massachusetts. I look forward to the continued growth and development of this program so that it will sustain itself at the most elite level within Hockey East. The privilege has been all mine.”
Cahoon recently completed his 12th season in Amherst with a 166-225-42 record. His 166 victories are the most in program history. He has compiled a 333-380-73 mark in 25 years as a Division I head coach, which includes a stint at Princeton from 1991 to 2000.
In 2011-12, he led the Minutemen to a 13-18-5 mark and a berth in the Hockey East tournament.
Cahoon took the program to new levels nationally and in Hockey East. In 2007-08, UMass earned its highest national ranking ever, No. 5, after early-season victories over Notre Dame and Colorado College in the Lightning College Hockey Classic Championshiip.
It was the second time under Cahoon that the Minutemen had been ranked among the top seven teams in the country (the previous high ranking was No. 7 in 2003). Along with that, the Marblehead native took UMass to its first-ever NCAA tournament in 2006-07, defeating Clarkson in the first round.
A national search for the program’s 13th head coach will begin immediately, according to McCutcheon.