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Northeastern names new hockey coach

Northeastern alumnus and three-time Beanpot champion Jim Madigan has been named Northeastern men’s ice hockey head coach, Director of Athletics Peter Roby announced on Monday. Madigan, the 10th coach in program history, brings more than 26 years of college and professional hockey experience to his new post on Huntington Avenue. He played for the Huskies from 1981 to 1985 and was an assistant coach at the university from 1986 to 1993. He has served as a professional scout for the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins since 1993, winning a Stanley Cup in 2009.

“It’s a true honor to be named head coach at Northeastern,” said Madigan. “I have tremendous passion for this university and for this program. Northeastern is a world-class institution and Boston is a world-class city. I’m thrilled to be back where it all started for me — Matthews Arena.

“The expectations I have for our program are high. We will continue to build on the momentum established by Greg Cronin and his staff, and we will compete at the highest level, both in Hockey East and nationally.”

“Today begins a new and exciting era of Northeastern hockey, an era that accelerates our progress and builds on our recent success,” Roby said.” Jim played a prominent role in one of our program’s most illustrious decades. More importantly, though, Jim has shown a great ability to identify talent and is committed to developing players on the ice, in the classroom and in the community. His energy and enthusiasm, along with his commitment to Northeastern values, made him the obvious choice.”

As a professional hockey scout, Madigan has demonstrated great skill in identifying and evaluating talent in a thorough and insightful manner. He has served as a scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2006, helping that franchise build a team that advanced to the Stanley Cup finals in consecutive seasons (2008 and 2009) and that captured the Cup in 2009.

He played a key role in identifying two Huskies who have excelled in the Penguins organization — Brad Thiessen and Joe Vitale. This season, Vitale spent time on the Pens’ NHL roster and Thiessen was named the AHL’s most outstanding goaltender. Prior to his tenure with the Penguins, Madigan served as a scout for the New York Islanders for 13 years. During his time in hockey, Madigan has worked alongside some of the great innovators of the game, from Ferny Flaman (Northeastern head coach from 1970 to 1989) to notable NHL executives, including general managers Ray Shero (Pittsburgh), Don Maloney (Phoenix), Chuck Fletcher (Minnesota), Randy Sexton (Florida), Mike Milbury (New York Islanders), plus Gordie Clark (director of player personnel, New York Rangers) and Jay Heinbuck (Northeastern alumnus and director of amateur scouting, Pittsburgh).

Northeastern fans also will remember Madigan’s tenure as an assistant coach for the Huskies from 1986 to 1993. During that seven-year stint, he recruited and coached four All-Americans and 15 All-Hockey East selections. In addition to recruiting, Madigan was involved in all aspects of running a successful Division I program. During his time on the Northeastern bench, the Huskies won 100 games and in 1988 captured the program’s last Beanpot title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Prior to returning to his alma mater, Madigan coached at the University of Vermont for one season (1985–86).

As a player at Northeastern, Madigan was a four-year letter winner under Flaman, leading the Huskies to a 67-59-5 record. During his freshman season, Northeastern won 25 games, establishing a single-season wins record that remains tied for best all-time in program history. Madigan was a key contributor to two Huskies’ Beanpot championships in 1984 and 1985.

In 1982, he was voted Rookie of the Year. In his senior campaign he was named assistant captain and, at season’s end, was presented with the program’s Unsung Hero Award. Madigan skated in 119 career games, recording 78 points (34-44-78).

In 1998, Madigan was awarded the Friends of NU Hockey Ferny C. Flaman Award. The honor is presented to a benefactor of Northeastern hockey who has demonstrated the commitment and dedication of Coach Flaman to making Northeastern hockey a success.

Madigan’s appointment as head coach continues a 25-year tenure at Northeastern. His dedicated service to the University includes roles as men’s ice hockey assistant coach (1986–93), assistant director of physical plant services (1993–99), director of athletic development (1999–2004) and associate dean and director of development in the College of Business Administration (2004–11). In his most recent post, he led a development effort that generated an average of $5.7 million in gifts over seven years, including $13 million in 2010–11. Over the course of his career, Madigan has shown an unparalleled ability to promote Northeastern to a broad and diverse constituency — including prospective students, alumni and other supporters.

Madigan graduated from Northeastern in 1986 with a degree in business administration. He and his wife Kim, a Northeastern alumna, have two daughters, Kelly and Kate, who both compete on the Northeastern track and field team.

A press conference will be held today at 12:30 p.m. at Matthews Arena to formally introduce Madigan as the new head coach. The press conference will be streamed live on GoNU.com.

Northeastern opens the season on Friday, Oct. 7, against Massachusetts at 7 p.m. at Matthews Arena. To join this new era of Huskies Hockey, order your season tickets online (GoNU.com/tickets), by phone (617-373-4700) or by email (huskytix@neu.edu).

For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Northeastern hockey, follow the Huskies on Twitter (@NUAthletics) and check GoNU.com. The Huskies are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NortheasternHuskies.