Go here to view the transcript of David Berard's opening statement.
WORCESTER, Mass. – David Berard has been named the new head coach of the men's ice hockey program at the College of the Holy Cross, director of athletics Nathan Pine announced. Berard has over 20 years of collegiate hockey experience, including 16 seasons at his alma mater, Providence College. He also served as the interim head coach at the University of Connecticut for the majority of the 2012-2013 season.
"I am excited to welcome David Berard to Holy Cross and to have him join our outstanding team of coaches," said Pine. "His wealth of experience as a head coach, assistant and player along with his proven track record of success makes him the perfect person to lead Holy Cross men's ice hockey. I am certain that our program and our student-athletes will prosper under his guidance."
Berard assumed the position of interim head coach at UConn on Nov. 5, 2012, after serving as an assistant coach under Bruce Marshall. As interim head coach, Berard led the Huskies to a 19-10-3 record, including a 14-7-3 mark in Atlantic Hockey Association play. He guided UConn to a 10-3-2 record to close out the year, with the Huskies sweeping their Atlantic Hockey quarterfinal series against Robert Morris before ultimately falling in the Atlantic Hockey semifinals. In 2012-2013, the Huskies' posted 14 regular-season conference wins, their highest total in program history at the time. All told, Berard coached one All-Atlantic Hockey selection, the Atlantic Hockey Goaltending Award Winner and seven Atlantic Hockey All-Academic team selections in 2012-2013.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to be the next head hockey coach at Holy Cross," said Berard. "I want to thank Nate Pine for his confidence in me to lead the program into a new era. I am excited to build a championship level program that attracts talented, hard-working student-athletes who relentlessly pursue academic and athletic excellence. Holy Cross is a special place. I am excited to be a part of such a prestigious academic institution that fosters the personal growth and development of each of our student-athletes. I look forward to building upon the rich tradition of the program and using it as a foundation to win championships. I share in Nate's vision for the future and I am thrilled to be a Crusader."
In 2011-2012, Berard joined the staff at UConn as an assistant coach, helping the Huskies to a 16-19-4 record while ranking second in the nation on the power play (25.7 percent) and 14th in the nation in the penalty kill (84.2 percent). UConn also boasted the second-ranked combined special teams unit in the country at 56.5 percent.
Berard also had three different stints on the hockey staff at Providence, for a total of 16 seasons. He was most recently the Friars coordinator of men's ice hockey operations in 2013-2014, overseeing all aspects of video breakdown for in-game analysis and opponent scouting. Berard also coordinate team travel, helped with alumni outreach and worked with various community outreach and service projects.
Previously, Berard was an assistant coach at Providence from 1994-1996 and 1998-2011. During the 13-year stint from 1998-2011, he directed skill development sessions for forwards and defensemen and worked extensively with Friar goaltenders. For seven seasons, he also coordinated and directed the penalty killing strategy. Berard developed scouting reports and oversaw the implementation and use of video technology for the program. Administratively, he served as the staff liaison for the office of academic services, which monitored the academic progress of student-athletes.
In addition, Berard served as Providence's recruiting coordinator from 1998-2005, and was the team's associate head coach from 2003-2005. He was instrumental in bringing a number of talented players to Providence, recruiting three American Hockey Coaches Association All-Americans, one CoSIDA Academic All-American, seven Hockey East All-Stars and five Hockey East All-Rookie team selections. Additionally, Berard recruited 21 players who were drafted in the National Hockey League, and coached 10 student-athletes who eventually played in the NHL. Furthermore, two of Berard's recruits represented the United States at the International Ice Hockey Federation under-20 world championship.
In Berard's first two years at Providence, the Friars made consecutive trips to the Hockey East championship game, finishing as the runner-up in 1995 and winning the championship in 1996. For their efforts, the Friars earned an automatic berth to the 1996 NCAA Tournament. In 2000-2001, Berard helped guide the Friars to the best Hockey East regular season finish in program history (second place), with the team advancing to the Hockey East championship game and earning an at-large bid to the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
Between his first two stints at Providence, Berard served as the top assistant coach at Lake Superior State University for two years from 1996-1998. He served as recruiting coordinator during his time with the Lakers, while helping the team to an overall record of 34-32-9. Berard began his coaching career as an assistant at Colby College for two years from 1992-1994.
Throughout his career, Berard has been heavily involved in player development for USA Hockey at the national, district and local levels. In addition to presenting at many coaching education program clinics, he has coached at numerous USA Hockey national select festivals and New England player development camps. From 2003-2008, Berard served as the director of player development for the New England district. In the summer of 2004, Berard served as an assistant coach for the USA Hockey under-17 select team, which won the silver medal at the Five Nations Tournament in Germany. In 2008, Berard was named as a coach for the USA Hockey Warren Strelow National Goaltending Mentor Program.
A goaltender in his playing days at Providence, Berard was a member of one of the most successful classes to wear a Friar uniform, amassing a total of 87 wins over their four-year career. Berard was a member of three teams that reached the Hockey East Tournament semifinals and two teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
Berard graduated from Providence in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in business marketing. He and his wife, Lynne, have two sons (Brett and Brady).
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT DAVID BERARD
"David brings a great level of experience not only as an assistant coach, but as a head coach in Atlantic Hockey. He's a terrific person and he's a terrific coach. We are sad to see him go, but at the same time we are happy for him to get this opportunity, because he's going to do a terrific job." — Providence Head Coach Nate Leaman
"I am very happy for the opportunity that David is going to have at Holy Cross. David's 20- plus years of college coaching experience, along with his knowledge, passion and teaching ability, will be a tremendous asset to the Crusaders' hockey program and student-athletes." —Notre Dame Associate Head Coach Paul Pooley
"First and foremost, David is a very caring coach. He deeply cares about his student-athletes. He is a tremendous communicator as he clearly lets the team know what he expects and he always gets the most out of his players. I am very happy for David and wish him the best." — Union Head Coach Rick Bennett