Greg Carvel, head coach of the 2021 NCAA Division I national champion men’s ice hockey team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will be the commencement speaker at the university’s undergraduate ceremonies on Friday, May 14 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.
Carvel guided the Minutemen to their first NCAA championship during his fifth season as coach. Known for recruiting high-character players capable of playing at the highest level, Carvel has transformed a once-moribund program into one of national excellence through his team’s commitment to resilience and perseverance in difficult times, the theme of his remarks. He is also a UMass Amherst alumnus, earning a master’s degree in sport management in 1998.
UMass claimed the university’s first NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey championship, defeating St. Cloud State, 5-0, on April 10, 2021. Carvel was the 2019 Spencer Penrose winner and 2021 Spencer Penrose runner-up, awarded annually to the top NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey coach by the American Hockey Coaches Association. He also garnered recognition from College Hockey News and USCHO.com, honored as the national Coach of the Year in 2021 by both media outlets. Carvel has coached the Minutemen to four of the top-10 winningest seasons in UMass' 91-season history. In addition to the program’s first NCAA title, Carvel led the Minutemen to their first NCAA Runner-up finish (2018-19), first Hockey East regular season (2018-19) and tournament titles (2020-21), and first Hobey Baker winner, as Cale Makar was the National Player of the Year in 2018-19.
Prior to his tenure at UMass, Carvel spent five years at St. Lawrence University as head coach of his undergraduate alma mater. Carvel, a former captain and the first CoSIDA Academic All-American in SLU program history, was named the 2014-15 Tim Taylor Award winner as Eastern College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
Before making his return to St. Lawrence, Carvel spent 15 seasons in the professional ranks, making two trips to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals while a member of the staffs of Anaheim and Ottawa. Carvel played one year of professional hockey in Sweden and then became assistant athletic director and assistant hockey coach at Canterbury Prep. While pursuing his master’s degree at UMass, he was an assistant coach at Amherst College in 1996.
Carvel and his wife, Daina, an Amherst native, are parents to Kathryn, Ava and Drew