NEW: Capital Region’s Union Men’s Hockey Names New Coach
On January 28, 2022, Union men's hockey coach Rick Bennett resigned from his post, after a month-long investigation into his coaching practices had been opened up by Union College.
The team played the rest of the regular season under interim head coach, John Ronan, and responded well down the stretch, despite the tumult they had experienced throughout the year.
When the season concluded in March, a search began for the next permanent head coach of the Dutchmen men's hockey program. That search has since concluded, and the next head coach at Union has officially been unveiled.
Josh Hauge Named Next Head Coach of Union Men's Hockey
As announced by Union College Athletics earlier Friday, Josh Hauge has been named the 22nd head coach in Union College hockey history.
A native of Apple Valley, Minnesota, Hauge previously spent the last seven seasons of his coaching career on-staff with the Clarkson Golden Knights. Hauge began as an assistant coach during the 2015-16 season, and was elevated to associate head coach ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
Before his time at Clarkson, Hauge spent five seasons total in the USHL. The first four were spent as the assistant coach, then head coach and general manager, of the Tri-City Storm, while the last was spent as an assistant coach with the Fargo Force.
Hauge played three seasons of Division III college hockey at Bethel University, from 1999 through 2002. He also brings in coaching experience from the North American Hockey League, and the MNJHL.
Hauge was not mentioned as a candidate for the job when friend of 104.5 The Team, Ken Schott, reported on the potential candidates for The Daily Gazette. He was, however, mentioned as a serious candidate as recently as yesterday by Jeff Cox of The New York Hockey Journal.
Hauge Replaces Bennett, Ronan as New Leader of Union Hockey
Hauge comes in as the permanent replacement for Rick Bennett, who coached the team from 2011-12 until January of 2022. Bennett won 192 games as head coach, a program record that he set after passing his predecessor, Nate Leaman.
Bennett is probably best known for assembling the team, with the likes of Daniel Carr, Shayne Gostisbehere and Michael Vecchione, that won the 2013-14 National Championship. He won three straight ECAC Hockey tournament championships, from 2012 to 2014, as well.
More recently, however, the program had fallen on harder times, and unfortunately, Bennett's time came to an end at a low point. A member of Bennett's staff, John Ronan, took the helm for the remainder of the season, and coached the team to an 8-8-1 total record over his 17 games. He was considered a candidate for the position at the time the search began, according to sources.
Hauge and the Dutchmen, meanwhile, will get to work in the fall of 2022, and embark on their chase for an ECAC title, and NCAA tournament berth, and the re-establishment of Union hockey as a national powerhouse.