Merrimack issued a press release on Sunday, hours after the team’s season ended in an overtime loss to Boston College in the Hockey East playoffs, announcing that head coach Mark Dennehy has been fired.
Merrimack just issued a press release, making the news official. A.D. Jeremy Gibson in the release: “On behalf of Merrimack College, we thank Mark for everything he did for the hockey program and for the Merrimack community, and we wish him well."— Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonCHN) March 11, 2018
Dennehy served 13 seasons as head coach at Merrimack. Dennehy inherited a dire situation at Merrimack when he was hired in 2005. A perpetual bottom-feeder in Hockey East nestled amongst some of college hockey’s big-budget powers, the Warriors’ program was close to being eliminated as they struggled through a 3-win season in ‘06-’07. But Dennehy was able to turn the program around, peaking in 2010-2011 with a 25-win season and earning Merrimack’s second-ever NCAA Tournament bid, and first since 1988 when they were a Division I independent program.
In recent years, Merrimack had settled into a spot where they were competitive, but not really threatening, usually finishing a few games below .500 and mid-to-low table in the Hockey East standings. It’s still a surprising move to see Merrimack release a coach that seemed to make the most out of the limited resources that were made available to him.
Merrimack has announced a national search for Dennehy’s replacement will begin immediately.