UMass-Lowell Athletic Director Dana Skinner announced Wednesday that the school has extended the contract of head hockey coach Norm Bazin through the end of the 2017-18 season.
Bazin has led the River Hawks to two of the best seasons in school history since taking over prior to the 2011-12 season. The former River Hawks player previously had been the head coach at Division III Hamilton College. Before that Bazin had been an assistant coach at Colorado College.
Bazin had a life changing moment when he was involved in a serious automobile accident in British Columbia while on a recruiting trip for Colorado College. The French-Canadian Bazin recovered from the accident and is now one of the best young coaches in the college ranks.
The River Hawks won the Hockey East regular season and tournament championships for the first time in program history. UML also earned the school's first back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament. The school had previously advanced to the national tournament in 1994 and 1996.
UMass-Lowell made the 2013 Frozen Four in Pittsburgh, the first trip to hockey's marquee event. The River Hawks lost in overtime to eventual national champion Yale in the national semifinals.
Bazin expressed numerous times during the team's playoff run how much it meant to bring pride to the Merrimack Valley area, the school and the city of Lowell. In addition to the terrific run the hockey team is on, it is an exciting time for the university. UML is going Division I in all sports and is experiencing tremendous growth in its academic buildings and overall infrastructure. Much of the school's recent success can be attributed to the diligence and commitment made by former Massachusetts congressman Marty Meehan, the school's chancellor.
Jeff Cox is a hockey reporter for SBNation. Follow Jeff on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.