PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University will have a new men’s ice hockey coach this year when the beautiful new ice arena opens on campus.
Craig Russell, PSU’s assistant coach for seven years and associate head coach the past two seasons, has been named the eighth head coach of the Panther men’s ice hockey program. He is a 2003 graduate of Plymouth State who played four years on the hockey team, serving as assistant captain as a senior. Russell replaces Brett Tryder, who resigned after seven seasons as head coach to pursue other business opportunities.
“I am excited to be the next head coach for PSU men's hockey,” said Russell. “Being able to lead a program at my alma mater is an honor in itself, and with the new rink being built, the program will progress to levels it hasn't seen in its 39 year history and I'm glad that I get to be a part of it. We have a huge core of players returning next season, and with the systems that Coach Tryder has put into place, we should be able to make a seamless transition into the 2010-11 season.
A native of Northfield, Vt., Russell joined Tryder’s staff as an assistant coach after completing his eligibility in 2003, and was elevated to associate head coach in 2008. He has been the primary recruiter for the program, as well as working with defense and contributing to all aspects of the program.
“I have learned a lot from Coach Tryder in the past seven years together, and thank him for bringing back the enthusiasm to the PSU hockey program,” said Russell. “I wish him the best of luck in his business ventures. I would also like to thank (PSU athletic director) John Clark for affording me the opportunity to take the reins of the program, and for believing in me.”
Clark had mixed emotions when delivering the news to the PSU athletic staff.
“I am excited to name Craig Russell our new men’s ice hockey coach,” said Clark, “He has been a very valuable assistant for a long time and deserves this opportunity. Coach Tryder has been a very successful coach and will be missed. We thank him for his dedication to our students and our department.”
Tryder (left) served two years as an assistant coach under Chris Hudon before taking over as head coach prior to the 2003-04 season. He led the Panthers to an 86-80-12 record in seven seasons with four post-season berths (three Eastern College Athletic Conference, one Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference). He guided the team to a 16-9-1 record in 2005-06, and led the squad this past season to a 17-9-1 mark in its first year in the MASCAC. The 16 victories in ’05-‘06 was the second-most wins in the programs history until being surpassed last season.
“I would like to thank everyone at Plymouth State for their friendship and support over the last nine years,” said Tryder. “My time spent at Plymouth has been the best years of my life. I would also like to congratulate Craig on his being named the next head coach. I see great things in the future for the Plymouth State ice hockey teams. I am very pleased at what we have been able to accomplish during my nine year involvement with the program and I am proud of the alumni that we have presented to the work force. I am excited to begin my new venture as the general manager/head coach of a junior level team and I am looking forward to grooming players for future Plymouth State teams.”
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