Tortorella brings more than two decades of coaching experience to the Hilltop
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Saint Anselm College announced today the hiring of Jim Tortorella as the seventh head men's ice hockey coach in program history. Tortorella brings more than two decades of experience at the collegiate level, including Providence College, the University of New Hampshire and Colby College.
"Coach Tortorella is an excellent fit for Saint Anselm College and our athletics program," said Director of Athletics Daron Montgomery. "It became clear when we met with Jim that he would bring a unique blend of confidence and humility to this critical leadership role. Jim has confidence in his ability to coach, mentor, and serve as a positive role model for our student-athletes; yet he brought humility to our very first meeting and recognized what a terrific coaching opportunity this is. Coach Tortorella will be an asset to the Hawks Athletics family, and we look forward to welcoming his family to ours."
Tortorella spent 16 seasons at NCAA Division III Colby College (Maine) where he remains the program's all-time winningest coach with a record of 230-138-33 (.617). At Colby, he coached 78 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Academic choices, 20 NESCAC All-Stars and 16 All-Americans, while guiding the Mules to the league's final four 10 times.
Colby was consistently ranked in the top-15 nationally under Tortorella and won the East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship in 1997 for the first time in 30 years. He was twice named the NESCAC Coach of the Year (2005-06, 2007-08) and was also tabbed the New England Sports Writers Coach of the Year in 2007-08, as well as being a finalist for the National Division III Coach of the Year three times (1995-96, 2005-06, 2007-08).
"It is an honor to be named head coach of this great program," said Tortorella. "I would like to thank President [Steven] DiSalvo, Athletic Director [Daron] Montgomery and the search committee for entrusting me to guide the Saint Anselm program. From the moment I came to campus and met everyone involved in the search, I knew this was an incredibly appealing coaching opportunity and a great fit for my family and I.
"Hawks hockey has a strong tradition of fielding outstanding teams who have embodied the true meaning of being a student-athlete. I am optimistic we will not only sustain this tradition but enhance it to an unprecedented level of excellence on and off the ice of Sullivan Arena. I look forward to building relationships with the entire Saint Anselm community of students, faculty, alumni and supporters as we move forward into the new era of Hawks men's ice hockey."
After Colby, Tortorella spent three seasons as the associate head coach at the University of New Hampshire from 2011-14. At UNH, he developed and coached two All-Americans and three Hockey East All-Star selections, including current NHL player Trevor van Riemsdyk of the Chicago Blackhawks. Tortorella also organized and coached the Wildcats' defense and penalty kill that led the Hockey East and ranked second in the country in 2013, assisted in all aspects of recruiting and developed, implemented and managed all video technology and analytic systems.
Tortorella was most recently a volunteer assistant at Providence College. With the Friars, he helped with scouting and video analysis, assisted with daily pre-practice goalie development and organized and implemented daily pre-practice sessions for forwards.
In addition to his experience at the collegiate level, Tortorella has also worked with USA Hockey as the long-time Director of New England Select Teams Player Development (1997-2003, 2008-15) and has coached at various international junior tournaments. He has also been highly-involved with the American Hockey Coaches Association, including serving as the association's president (2002-03). Tortorella currently holds a master certificate from USA Hockey, the organization's highest level of coaching education achievement.
Tortorella, a former standout goalie at the University of Maine, began his coaching career at Brunswick High School (1984-87) before moving on to Cony High School, where he was a two-time State of Maine Coach of the Year in five seasons. Prior to his time at Colby, Tortorella spent one season as an assistant at UNH.
A native of Concord, Mass., Jim resides in Stratham, N.H. with his wife Erin, stepdaughter Gracie and stepson Blake. He also has two adult daughters, Natalie and Caroline.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT COACH TORTORELLA
"Coach Tortorella has a very high level of passion for coaching and developing players. He is well thought with great detail to his coaching. Our student-athletes enjoyed seeing him every day. There is no doubt in my mind that he will have a highly successful program." – Nate Leaman, Head Coach, Providence College, 2015 NCAA Division I National Champion
"Jim represents tremendous passion, compassion and hockey knowledge. He is gifted in coaching and development and in taking young men from adolescence to adulthood. He holds himself and his program to a high standard and is meticulous in his organization, planning, and execution. Undoubtedly he will significantly contribute to the entire Saint Anselm community." - Blaise MacDonald, Jack Kelley Head Coach of Men's Hockey at Colby College
"It is great for all of us in college hockey that Jim is back with a team of his own. He is a man of great integrity and the example he has always set is exactly what we need in our game. This is a great hire." – Joe Bertagna, Commissioner, Hockey East Conference
"Jim is a tremendous hire. Jim brings a wealth of hockey knowledge as well as a proven history of developing a winning culture. He develops the player, but more importantly the person." – Chris Potter, Head Coach, Wesleyan University