Quinnipiac has handed head coach Rand Pecknold a contract extension that will keep him behind the Bobcat bench through the 2020-21 season.
Pecknold, 2016 College Hockey News Coach of the Year, led the Bobcats to be ranked number one in the nation through the 2015-16 regular season. He also led them, a team with few NHL draft picks, to the National Championship, where they fell to a stacked North Dakota Fighting Hawks squad led by the remarkable “CBS Line.”
“My wife, Nikki, and I would like to thank John Lahey, Mark Thompson and [athletic director] Greg Amodio for their continued support of the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey program,” Pecknold said in a statement. “We feel very fortunate to be a part of the Quinnipiac family. We will continue to push our commitment to excellence. We also want to thank the staff and players for all their hard work and contributions to our team’s success both on-and-off the ice.”
Now entering his 23rd season at Quinnipiac, he’s led them to four straight NCAA tournament berths, which includes two runs to the Frozen Four and National Championship in 2013 and 2016. Though the ultimate victory has eluded them, he has molded the program there since its inception.
He began coaching the team when they weren’t even a part of Division I NCAA hockey. The growth of the program under his leadership has been immense. Not only have they been a big enough success to build an enviable state-of-the-art facility, they’ve become a perennial powerhouse and he has established himself as forward-thinking coach, capable of getting the best out of his teams despite not having the recruiting power to bring in the Kyle Connors, Jack Eichels and Brock Boesers of the world.
“Rand has done a remarkable job in developing Quinnipiac’s men’s ice hockey program over the last 22 years and we look forward to many more,” Amodio said. “This past season was a product of his vision and drive to be the best at his craft.”
Last season, the Bobcats went 32-4-7, setting a program record and they were the first team since 1997 to finish out the regular season with only four losses to their name.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.