View Full Version : Finlandia Names New Head Coach

Matthew Webb
05-21-2010, 01:05 PM

John McCabe is New Finlandia Men's Hockey Coach

HANCOCK, MI - HANCOCK, MI - Finlandia University Athletic Director Chris Salani has announced that John McCabe has accepted the position of head men's ice hockey coach beginning in the 2010-11 academic year.

McCabe takes over the Finlandia Lions men's hockey program after completing his sixth season as an assistant men's hockey coach at University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH), which is a NCAA Division I school.

Coach McCabe helped lead the UAH Chargers to two College Hockey America tournament titles (losing a third in the championship game to Bemidji State in 2006), and two NCAA Regional Semifinal appearances, most recently the 2010 Midwest Regional in Fort Wayne, Ind.
At University of Alabama-Huntsville, McCabe worked under Danton Cole, former Michigan State All-American and Stanley Cup winner the New Jersey Devils.

"John brings with him all of the hockey knowledge that he's acquired under Coach Cole-and his former coaches-to help create at Finlandia the optimal environment to breed success in the college ranks," says Salani.

Salani explains the number one priority in Finlandia's search for a men's hockey coach was to identify the candidate with proven experience and success and a solid understanding of how a college program should be run.

"The hockey environment in the college setting is much different than in the Junior ranks," Salani notes. "To achieve success and elevate Finlandia hockey to DIII national prominence-which is our goal-it was critical that we find the person who is the right fit for our community and for our program. I believe we've found that person in John McCabe."

Salani is hoping to generate at Finlandia a similar atmosphere of excellence as recently demonstrated by the men's hockey program at Adrian College, also a member of NCAA Division III and the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association (MCHA). "I believe in many ways Adrian's success can be credited to the hiring of a coach who understood and had the experience of the DI college game behind him," Salani explains.

"In a lot of ways, I expect Coach McCabe to immediately set the Finlandia's men's hockey program in the right direction and compete for not only MCHA titles, but national titles," Salani adds.

In the previous four years, McCabe's primary responsibility for the UAH hockey program was that of head men's hockey recruiter. "John's networks throughout North America and in Scandinavia, combined with his regular work in identifying high profile recruits, will also be a huge asset in establishing a quality and successful product on the ice for Finlandia," Salani says.

In his own hockey career, McCabe played for UAH from 1995 to 1998 during a period in which the Charger program won two NCAA DII national championships-the second in his senior year as captain of the team. Following, McCabe played seven seasons of minor-professional hockey, most notably four seasons in the East Coast Hockey League with the Mobile Mysticks, the Greensboro Generals, and the Toledo Storm.
Established in 1999, the Finlandia Lions men's hockey program is a member of NCAA Division III and the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association (MCHA). The team was coached on an interim basis by Chris Salani in the 2009-10 season, and by former head coaches Joe Burcar (2002-2009) and Scott Mikesch (1999-2001). The Lions won the MCHA Harris Cup in 2007.

McCabe relocates to Hancock with his wife, Carla, seven-month-old daughter Annslee, and step-daughter eight-year-old Lillie.
For additional information about the men's hockey program at Finlandia University, please contact Chris Salani, athletic director, at 906-487-7378 or chris.salani@finlandia.edu.

05-21-2010, 01:12 PM
He's got some work to do, but there's no reason he can't turn Finlandia around. The MCHA is getting better as a whole, and faster than people realize.

Matthew Webb
05-21-2010, 04:32 PM
He's got some work to do, but there's no reason he can't turn Finlandia around. The MCHA is getting better as a whole, and faster than people realize.

This certainly looks like a great hire for Finlandia and the MCHA. Last spring Salani promised a bonafide national search for a new head coach and it certainly looks like that was delivered on. Though the MCHA is a bit of a different animal at this point, Finlandia has proven it can put a very good team out on the ice. That 06-07 team (that won the MCHA playoffs and beat Superior in the regular season) was quite good for not really getting talked about on the national level...

05-22-2010, 11:24 AM
Great news !