Photo via NCAA.com
St. Lawrence University announced this past Wednesday that the Charlotte Checkers head coach, Mark Morris will take over for Greg Carvel as the Men’s Hockey Coach effective immediately. Morris is the 14th coach in SLU history, and the third Charles W. Appleton Hockey Coach. Morris is currently serving as a head coach in the American Hockey League, a branch of the NHL Carolina Hurricanes and has experience working with teams in the NHL and NCAA Division 1. During his time with the NHL, he served as an assistant coach for the Florida Panthers and earned two Stanley Cup rings developing players for the Los Angeles Kings.
His experience with NCAA Division 1 programs began at Colgate University (’81) where he played hockey for the late Terry Slater ’61, another St. Lawrence alumnus. After college, Morris played four seasons of professional hockey, mostly with the New Haven Nighthawks in the AHL.
He began his coaching career as an assistant at Union College and St. Lawrence before taking over the head position at Clarkson in 1988. Morris remained at Clarkson until he took a job in the NHL as the Special Assistant Coach/Interim Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Vancouver Canucks.
Morris is very familiar with ECAC, and the competition it presents. During his time coaching in the league, he won five regular season championships and three tournament championships. He has made nine appearances in the NCAA tournament, which included three quarterfinals and one Frozen Four. His years in the ECAC allowed him to coach many future NHL players, All Americans and Olympians. Also on Morris’ resume are two ECAC Coach of the Year honors.
“The boys are really excited about the new hiring. We’re really looking forward to getting things started with Coach Morris,” said junior defenseman Mike Graham. Morris received support from many NHL, AHL, and ECAC coaches along with players from all levels when the hiring process took place.
Saints Athletic Director Bob Durocher told University Communications, “The success of our Men’s Hockey program both on and off the ice and in the classroom attracted a very strong applicant pool.” He also commented that that he was confident in the continuation of the academic and athletic achievements under Morris.
The Saints finished the 2015-2016 season under former Coach Carvel with 19-14-4 record overall. Gavin Bayreuther ’17 earned a First-Team ECAC selection and a second team All-America award after being the first defenseman to lead the team in scoring in program history. Coach Morris has big shoes to fill after Carvel’s four years heading the program, but the future looks promising.