Courtesy RIT Athletic Communications
Scott McDonald, head coach of the RIT women's hockey team, signed a four-year contract extension through the 2017-18 season, Lou Spiotti, RIT Executive Director of Athletics, announced on Friday, April 4.
McDonald, who recently completed his eighth season behind the bench for the RIT women's squad, led the Tigers to the College Hockey America Championship in just their second season as a Division I program.
"We are thrilled to have secured Scott's services for another four years. This is an important milestone for us as we transition into a new era in the Gene Polisseni Center," Spiotti said about the 4,200-seat arena that opens next season on campus.
Last season, the Tigers won their last seven games and finished with a 20-15-3 mark. RIT won four games against nationally-ranked opponents and finished the year receiving votes in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls. RIT was not eligible for the NCAA Tournament due to a two-year probationary period from moving to Division III to Division I.
In 2011-12, McDonald led the Tigers to their first NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Championship Tournament appearance in school history, setting a Division III record with 28 wins. The Tigers finished the season with a 28-1-1 mark.
In his eight seasons as head coach at RIT, McDonald has compiled an overall record of 171-53-18 (.744 winning percentage). McDonald is the Division III all-time leader with a .835 winning percentage. He is RIT's all-time leader in coaching victories and earned his 100th win at RIT on Jan. 29, 2011, vs. Buffalo State. He became the second fastest coach in Division III history to reach that milestone (128 games). RIT does not offer scholarships at the Division I level.
"We are very pleased with the progress of our women's hockey program at the Division I level," Spiotti said. "In many ways, this program is ahead of schedule. Scott McDonald has done a tremendous job of developing a competitive program and is a strong leader of our student-athletes."
McDonald, a native of Oakville, Ontario, is the only person in NCAA history to play at the Division I and III level, and coach at both divisions on both the men's and women's sides.
A 2000 graduate of Niagara University, McDonald played defense for the Purple Eagles from 1996-2000. He was part of the school's inaugural freshman and first graduating classes as a Division I program.
McDonald served as an assistant at Utica College for one season before moving to RIT to serve as the assistant coach for the RIT men's hockey program from 2003-06.
"I would like to thank President (Bill) Destler, Dr. (Jim)
Watters, Dr. (Heath) Boice-Pardee, and Mr. Lou Spiotti for their
continued support and belief in myself and our staff lead this
program as we progress at the Division I level," McDonald said.
"It's exciting as a coach to have knowledge that your
administration believes in the direction that the program is moving