Harvard Names Albie O'Connell Men's Hockey Assistant Coach

Northeastern won more than twice as many games in O'Connell's three years than in the previous three (photo courtesy Northeastern University Sports Information).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Former Northeastern assistant coach Albie O'Connell has joined the Harvard men's hockey staff, Ted Donato '91, the Robert D. Ziff '88 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Ice Hockey, announced Friday.

O'Connell will work with Harvard's defensemen and special teams. He takes over as an assistant coach for the Crimson after three years on the Huskies' staff. He also previously coached at Merrimack, Holy Cross, Niagara and Colby. O'Connell played at Boston University, where he won four Beanpots and a Hockey East Championship and advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four twice.

"We're excited to add a coach of Albie O'Connell's caliber to our staff," Donato said. "His teams have shown great improvement wherever he has coached, and he has an outstanding background of success as a college hockey player. We think he'll be a great addition."

At Northeastern, O'Connell also served as recruiting coordinator and helped the Huskies post a 55-44-14 record after they went just 22-60-15 during the previous three years. He contributed to the squad reaching two Beanpot finals, two Hockey East semifinals and the 2009 NCAA tournament.

O'Connell spent one season each at Merrimack and Holy Cross. At Merrimack in 2007-08, he worked primarily with the forwards and the power play while assisting in all aspects of the program. Under his guidance, the Warriors nearly doubled their goal scoring in the 2007-08 season and improved by nine wins. He helped the Crusaders reach the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals in 2006-07.

Prior to Holy Cross, O'Connell spent two seasons at Niagara and one season at Colby. He was assistant coach at Niagara from 2004-06, helping lead the team to a 35-33-3 record over that span. On the ice, O'Connell worked with the forwards, defense and power play. He also specialized in recruiting and game preparations. At Colby in 2003-04, O'Connell helped the team to a 14-7-4 record and the NESCAC semifinals. He focused on day-to-day operations and recruiting.

In addition to coaching in the collegiate ranks, O'Connell has also coached extensively with USA Hockey since 2003. He has coached the USA Select 15, 16 and 17 teams at the national camp and has also coached at Team New England camps. He spent the 2002-03 season serving as assistant coach for the Berkshire Prep School while also serving as the assistant dean of students and the student activities director.

As a player, O'Connell skated for Boston University from 1995-99 and spent three seasons in pro hockey. With the Terriers O'Connell compiled career totals of 42 goals, 66 assists and 108 points in 149 games. He scored nine goals and added 30 assists to lead the team in scoring as a senior captain in 1998-99. His BU teams reached three NCAA tournaments and the 1997 national championship game.

O'Connell was a fifth-round draft pick of the New York Islanders in 1994. He played professional hockey for the Pensacola Ice Pilots (East Coast Hockey League) in 1999-2000, Basingstoke Bison (British National League) in 2000-01, Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies (ECHL) in 2001-02 and Cardiff Devils (BNL) in 2001-02. He was an All-Star selection in the British National League. In 127 pro games, O'Connell posted 54 goals and 78 assists for 132 points.

O'Connell participated in USA Hockey camps for the Select 16 team in 1992 and the Select 17 team in 1993 and skated in the World Junior Championship evaluation camp in 1995.

O'Connell graduated Boston University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history.