Beaney to leave Panther hockey

MIDDLEBURY — In a press conference at Middlebury College on Wednesday afternoon, men’s hockey coach Bill Beaney, one of the sport’s most successful program heads, announced he would step down from the team after 28 seasons.
He will remain with the college as the men’s golf coach, a physical education instructor, a teacher of a winter-term course, and what he called a mentor of other coaches in the Middlebury athletic department.
Beaney said he would also explore other opportunities in hockey — including USA Hockey and “a couple hockey ventures I’ve been approached to be involved in” — that would be less demanding of his time.
“I can’t see not being involved in hockey,” he said.
Beaney leaves behind an almost unparalleled record of success: His Middlebury teams have won eight NCAA Division III titles, including an NCAA record five in a row between 1995 and 1999.
Beaney’s all-time record stands at 602-257-59, including a 516-184-51 mark in 28 years at Middlebury. He is just one of a dozen NCAA coaches to earn 600 wins, and retires as the career leader in NCAA D-III.
Between 1979 and 1986, Beaney also amassed 86 wins at NEC, the University of New Hampshire graduate’s first college coaching stop after leading BFA-St. Albans Academy to three Vermont high school titles in the 1970s in his first head coaching job.
Beaney at the press conference said arriving at his long-considered decision — made final only the night before — was not easy. In explaining his emotion, he quoted the late North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano.
“I’ve had a lot of calls today. I’ve had a lot of emails. And we’ve talked about how I was feeling. And I said I will get emotional, but I will get over it. I’ve had a great day. It’s a great day,” he said, in a voice that then began to crack. “And to use the phrase, ‘I’ve laughed a lot. I’ve cried. And I’ve told a lot of people that I loved them.’”
He thanked former college athletic director Tom Lawson, who hired him; athletic trainer David Matthews; administrative assistant Carolyn LaRose; a series of “great assistant coaches;” and his colleague Bill Mandigo, the Panther women’s hockey coach.
And he said that he considers the growth of his players and the relationships he developed along the way as the true positive markers of his hockey tenure.
“Success isn’t measured in wins and losses, as we all know,” he said. “What it is, is surrounding yourself with good people, with people that, again to steal it from someplace, as I do most of my stuff, are passionate about life. And as I reflect back on my time with they hockey, that to me will be the lasting memory. It won’t be a particular championship, but it will be the passion of the players and the way that they prepared and cared about each other and the way they conducted themselves.”
Director of Athletics Erin Quinn cited Beaney’s accomplishments on and off the ice.
“Bill has had a tremendous and impactful career as a hockey coach,” Quinn said. “He is one of the most successful hockey coaches in terms of wins and championships, but that only begins to illustrate his success. The true measure of his success is the impact he has had on the young men who have played for him at Middlebury.”

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