Head Coach Nate Leaman
On April 22, 2011, Providence College President Reverend Brian Shanley, O.P. and Athletics Director Bob Driscoll appointed Nate Leaman as the head men's hockey coach at the College. Leaman, who became the 12th head coach at Providence College, came to PC after spending eight seasons as the head coach at Union College.
Leaman's 2010-11 Union squad posted an impressive 26-10-4 mark and set a school record with 17 ECAC victories. The team captured the College's first Cleary Cup (ECAC regular season champion) and earned its first NCAA Division I Tournament berth. Union's season came to end when it was defeated by eventual national champion Minnesota-Duluth, 2-0, in the 2011 NCAA East Regional Semifinal. The Dutchmen went 14-1-1 in their final 16 regular season games to clinch the league title. Union had the top power play in the nation as it posted a 29.5 percent success rate. In addition, the team allowed just 2.10 goals per game, which ranked second in the nation. The Dutchmen also were ranked nationally for the entire season and were as high as fourth. For his efforts, Leaman received the 2011 Spencer Penrose Award as the Division I Men's Coach of the Year and the ECAC Coach of Year honors for the second straight season.
In eight seasons at Union, Leaman's teams posted a 138-127-35 mark. His 138 wins are the most of any of the 14 head coaches in school history. He also posted the highest winning percentage (.518) of a Union head coach. Leaman guided Union to four consecutive winning seasons. In 2009-10, the team posted a 21-12-6 record, finished third place in the ECAC regular season and was the ECAC Tournament runner up. During his tenure at Union, Leaman coached 91 All-ECAC Academic selections, 12 All-ECAC players, six All-ECAC Rookie selections, three ECAC Student-Athletes of the Year and two CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Honorees. In his career behind the bench, Leaman has coached 16 NHL draft picks, five All-Americans and one Hobey Baker finalist.
The 2007-08 season began a stretch of four consecutive winning seasons for the Union program under Leaman. That team posted a 16-15-4 overall record and placed fourth in the ECAC, which at the time was the program's highest finish. In 2008-09, the team finished the season with a 19-17-3 overall mark which marked the first back-to-back winning campaigns in program history. That success carried over to the 2009-10 season as Leaman's squad was ranked in the top 20 nationally for 14 consecutive weeks.
Leaman also served as an assistant coach with USA Hockey for the US World Junior Team in 2007 and 2009. In 2007, he helped lead the team to a Bronze Medal in Leksand, Sweden.
Prior to taking the Union position, Leaman spent four seasons as an assistant coach for Mark Mazzoleni at Harvard, where he was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator during his final season. Leaman helped rebuild the Harvard program into one of the top teams in the ECAC, taking the squad from eighth place in the league to an ECAC tournament championship and NCAA appearance in 2001-2002, and an ECAC runner-up finish and NCAA appearance in 2002-2003. During his four years on the Harvard coaching staff, Leaman had a hand in recruiting 13 NHL draft picks and helped the program to be consistently ranked near the top of college hockey in the number of players with NHL rights.
Prior to joining the staff in Cambridge, Leaman served as a volunteer assistant coach under Shawn Walsh at the University of Maine in 1998-99. In helping guide Maine to a 31-6-4 record and the 1999 NCAA Championship, Leaman's responsibilities included working with the Black Bears' defense, video analysis, on-campus recruiting and monitoring of the players' academic progress. While in Orono, Leaman earned a Master of Science degree in biological sciences in 1999.
Before joining the staff at Maine, Leaman served as associate coach for one season at Old Town High School in Old Town, Maine, where he was responsible for the design and implementation of team practices and bench management during games.
Leaman is a 1997 graduate of SUNY Cortland, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences with a concentration in environmental science and received the Aldo Leopold Award for excellence in environmental science. Captain of the hockey team as a junior and senior, Leaman finished his career as one of the top-20 scorers in Red Dragons' history.
Prior to attending Cortland, Leaman spent a season with the Enkoping Sports Klubb in Enkoping, Sweden, and also played one year with the Indianapolis Junior Ice in the North American Junior Hockey League.
A native of Centerville, Ohio, Leaman and his wife, Alice, have one son.
Assistant Coach Jamie Russell
Jamie Russell begins his first season as an assistant coach with the Providence College hockey program.
"We are extremely excited to add Coach Russell to our staff," Leaman said upon Russell's hiring. "Coach Russell has a great knowledge of the game and a tremendous amount of experience in recruiting, developing players and building programs to win. He is an excellent communicator and teacher and we welcome him to Friartown."
Russell, who spent the last eight seasons as the head coach at Michigan Tech in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), was named the 2007 WCHA co-Coach of the Year and became the third Michigan Tech coach to earn the honor. In 2006-07, Russell led Michigan Tech to an 18-17-5 overall record, its highest win total since 1995-96. The Huskies also made their first appearance at the WCHA Final Five since 1996 after defeating Colorado College in the opening round of the league playoffs. While at Michigan Tech, Russell coached two All-Americans, five All-WCHA selections, one Hobey Baker Award finalist, 60 WCHA All-Academic Team recipients and 16 WCHA Scholar-Athletes. He also ranks second in career wins at Michigan Tech.
Prior to Michigan Tech, Russell was the lead assistant coach at Cornell University. He helped build the Big Red into a national powerhouse. During his four-year tenure (1999-03), the Big Red amassed an 87-39-10 record, won two Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) regular-season titles (2001-02, 2002-03) and an ECAC Tournament championship (2002-03). In addition, Cornell advanced to the NCAA Championships on two occasions -- a final eight appearance in 2002 and a spot in the Frozen Four in 2003. CU completed 2002-03 with a school-record 30-5-1 mark and was the top-ranked team in the country in the final regular-season poll. Cornell finished No. 1 in the country in both team defense (1.36 goals against per game; next closest, 2.21) and penalty killing (.900) in 2002-03.
Russell also served as the assistant coach at Ferris State of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) for five years (1994-99). He recruited the senior class that helped win the 2003 CCHA regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Championship regional final.
Russell has been extensively involved with USA Hockey. He served as the director of the USA Regional Bantam Evaluation Camp from 1996 to 1999 and also has been a lecturer for the USA Hockey Coaches Achievement Program. Russell, a native of Kamloops, B.C., has been an instructor at multiple hockey schools, including Michigan Tech's Hockey Development Center.
As a student-athlete, Russell played two seasons at Michigan Tech after sitting out 1986-87 due to transfer rules. He was an assistant captain in both seasons as a defenseman for the Huskies (1987-88, 1988-89) and posted career totals of eight goals and 22 assists in 77 games played. Following graduation, he went on to play for Larjevellan Sweden in 1989. In his final two professional playing years, Russell competed for Winston-Salem of the East Coast Hockey League in 1990 and for Binghamton of the American Hockey League in 1990.
Russell and his wife, Linda have three sons, Ben, Charlie and Graeme.
Assistant Coach Ben Barr
Ben Barr was named assistant coach of the Providence College men's hockey program on May 11, 2011.
Barr, who spent the last three seasons at Union College, was instrumental in helping the Dutchmen post a 66-39-13 mark during his tenure. While at Union, Barr's responsibilities were recruiting, working with the forwards on the ice, assisting with special teams, managing the team's off-ice strength and conditioning program, coordinating team travel and video analysis. During the 2010-11 season, Barr helped guide the Dutchmen to a school record 144 goals. In addition, Union had the top power play in the nation as it posted a 29.5 percent success rate.
A 2004 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a four-year member of the hockey team, Barr served as a volunteer coach at his alma mater in 2004-05 and 2007-08 before being hired at Union. In addition, he was a coach for the USA Hockey Select 15 Team during the summer of 2009 and 2010. Barr also served as a coach for the USA Hockey Select 14 Team during the summer of 2008 and for the Select 17 Team in 2007. From 2005 to 2007 he was the head coach for the Capital District Select AAA PeeWee Major Hockey Team.
As a student-athlete at RPI, Barr totalled 64 points (25 goals and 39 assists) in 140 career games. He was the team's most valuable player in 2002-03 and was presented with the team's coaches award in 2002-03 and in 2003-04. During his junior season, he recorded a team-best three short-handed goals and finished tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals. Barr served as a captain in his senior season and again led the team in short-handed goals (two) and game winners (three).
Barr also excelled in the classroom as he was named to the Rensselaer Dean's List all four years and was on the 2004 President's List. He also was selected to the ECAC All-Academic Team during the 2003-04 season.
A native of Fairbault, Minn., Barr attended Shattuck St. Mary's Prep school and was awarded the Williams Cup for best all-around athlete in 2000.