Peter Van Buskirk is now in his 13th season as the head coach of the Holy Cross women’s ice hockey team in 2012-2013. He has accumulated a 180-111-20 record over 12 seasons behind the Crusader bench.
Holy Cross advanced to its fourth consecutive ECAC Open Championship in 2012, having won the previous three. Last season the team fell to St. Anselm, with senior Stacey Hochkins and junior Caroline English making the All-Tournament team. Hochkins went on to be named first team All-ECAC East, a CCM Div. III All-American, New England All-Star and 2011-2012 Crusader of the Year.
In 2011, the Crusaders won the ECAC Open in a shoot out over St. Anselm. Senior Jocelyn Kratchmer was named tournament MVP, marking the third consecutive season a Crusader had garnered the award. Kratchmer and Hochkins were named to the All-Tournament team, and the duo was joined by senior Emily Henry on the All-ECAC East team. Hochkins also earned RBK All-America honors and New England All-Star honors for the second consecutive season.
Van Buskirk coached the Crusaders to the 2010 ECAC Open title and a second place finish in the ECAC East. At the 2010 American Hockey Coaches Association convention, Van Buskirk was honored with the John “Snooks” Kelley Founders Award. Named after the famed Boston College coach, the award honors those people in the coaching profession who have contributed to the overall growth and development of the sport of ice hockey in the United States.
During the 2008-2009 season, Van Buskirk led the Crusaders to an ECAC East regular season title, an ECAC Open championship, a school record 24 wins (24-2-1) and was named the ECAC East Coach of the Year. Holy Cross’ 117 single-season goals scored ranked number one all-time at Holy Cross, its 37 single-season goals allowed were the fewest all-time and its seven shutouts were second all-time. Van Buskirk coached the ECAC East Rookie of the Year, had three student-athletes make the ECAC East all-conference team and had five student-athletes named to the ECAC East All-Academic team.
Van Buskirsk’s success did not occur overnight, as during the 2002-2003 season he helped the Crusaders compile a 17-7-1 overall record and win the ECAC championship title in only their fourth season as a varsity team.
Van Buskirk has been affiliated with the Holy Cross ice hockey program for over 30 years. From 1979-1988 he served as the men’s head coach before returning to the bench as an assistant from 1991-1996 and head coach again for the 1996-1997 season. Van Buskirk is Holy Cross’ second most successful men’s coach, with a record of 167-146-8 throughout 10 seasons.
During his tenure as head coach of the men’s team, Van Buskirk guided the Crusaders to eight ECAC East playoff appearances and also earned College Coach of the Year honors in 1983. He reassumed the men’s head coaching duties for the 1996-1997 season, guiding his squad to a 14-13-0 mark and earning a fourth consecutive trip to the ECAC East Tournament. Prior to coming to Holy Cross, Van Buskirk served as the head coach at Hudson High School from 1973-1979. During his tenure, he guided the Hawks to five Central Massachusetts titles, three district crowns and a Division I State Championship in 1978. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at St. John’s High School in 1972.
A 1965 graduate and two-sport athlete at the University of New Hampshire, Van Buskirk served as a lieutenant in the Army Infantry from 1966-1968. He also holds his master’s degree in education from Boston State College.
Van Buskirk is a member of both the Hudson High School and University of New Hampshire Athletic Halls of Fame. In addition to coaching, Van Buskirk has served as the director of several hockey schools. From 1976-1979, he served as the director of the Los Angeles Hockey School and the Squaw Valley Hockey School.