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Sports

July 2, 2011

Merrimack's Dennehy signs extension through 2019

(Continued)

He should be sought after at this point. He was at the helm for perhaps the greatest rebuilding job in the history of college hockey.

You don't think so? Name me one that's more impressive.

This program was left for dead just six years ago. They were lucky to draw 200 fans to a mid-week, non-conference game.

Now the building is sold out — the Warriors sold out 11 of 16 home games this season — and the team played in this past year's Hockey East Championship game.

A lot of credit goes to the players putting on the jersey, but Dennehy, as is any coach in collegiate athletics, is the one constant. Players come in and players graduate. The coach has stayed the same.

And Dennehy, along with his staff, brought in those players.

Hiring Dennehy in the summer of 2005 has proven to be the best decision the athletic department has ever made. And locking him up long-term is a close second.

Both coaches hired the same offseason as Dennehy — Providence's Tim Army and Northeastern's Greg Cronin — both resigned after last season. Blaise MacDonald at UMass Lowell resigned as well.

Norm Bazin took over UMass Lowell and Nate Leaman took over at Providence last month. Northeastern is still searching for its head coach.

Given the challenges of recruiting and succeeding as Hockey East's smallest school, I'd argue there isn't a better coach in the league, maybe the country.

"I am humbled and my family is truly grateful for the support and trust that (school president) Dr. Hopey and Glenn Hofmann have continued to show in me and the hockey program," said Dennehy. "Merrimack is a unique and special place in which hockey is truly a part of the fabric of the college. The excitement and momentum that not only the hockey program has established, but just as importantly is present throughout the entire college community makes this a place that I want to stay at for the rest of my career."

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