Keith Allain came back to his alma mater to prove that a premier university like Yale could compete in hockey while being a world-class school. Saturday night in Pittsburgh, Allain's ultimate goal came true. Yale University won the NCAA National Championship for the first time in school history. The Bulldogs became the first ECAC and first Ivy League school to win the title since 1989 when Harvard completed the feat.
Allain had a successful playing career at Yale, graduating from the Ivy League school in 1980. Following his graduation, he played professionally for a season in Sweden before returning to Yale as an assistant for three seasons. He then spent much of the next two decades coaching in Sweden, working for an investment bank, and as an assistant coach and scout for three different NHL organizations.
In 2006, he decided to return to his alma mater to take over for the legendary Tim Taylor. He said in his interview, he did as much interviewing Athletic Director Tom Beckett and Associate AD Wayne Dean as he did being questioned. "I wanted to make sure they were as committed to the hockey program as I was," said Allain.
He credited his two bosses with helping the program get to where it is today. "We needed improvements to our facility and we got the renovations we needed to be a top tier program," said Allain.
Allain is the one responsible for bringing the best college hockey to the New Haven campus. The Bulldogs have made the NCAA Tournament in four of his seven seasons at the helm including four of the last five. He's won two ECAC Regular Season Championships and two ECAC Tournament Championships and now has an NCAA Championship to add to his resume.
"I came back to Yale to prove that you could go to the best university in the world and compete in hockey at the highest level," said Allain.
There is no doubt that the Yale Bulldogs and Keith Allain are on top of the college hockey world.
Jeff Cox covers college hockey for SBNation. Follow Jeff on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation for continuing coverage of the 2013 Frozen Four and all things college hockey.