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Assistant coach Patrick Foley leaves Northeastern hockey program

Jim Madigan has a void to fill in his coaching staff late in the summer.

Northeastern players celebrate a goal against UMass Lowell at Fenway Park on January 11, 2014.
Northeastern players celebrate a goal against UMass Lowell at Fenway Park on January 11, 2014.
Matt Dewkett

Northeastern University hockey assistant coach Patrick Foley has resigned from his position, according to two sources. The curious move leaves Jim Madigan in a difficult predicament, looking to fill a void in his coaching staff just weeks before the start of the school year starts.

Foley, a former player at New Hampshire, was previously an assistant at Harvard. The Milton, Mass. native's playing career was cut short due to several knee injuries.

Foley's decision to leave is certainly a shock, especially given the timeframe, but it was an escalating disagreement between him and Madigan that led to the seemingly abrupt departure.

Most observers believe Madigan will promote Director of Hockey Operations Jason Smith to the second assistant position. Jerry Keefe is Madigan's top assistant and has been doing the bulk of the recruiting.

Smith has been the Director of Hockey Operations at NU since coming over from Holy Cross prior to the 2012-13 season. He also worked previously as an assistant at Division III Babson College and his alma mater Salem State. He was a two-time captain of the Vikings for head coach Bill O'Neill.

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Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.