Brian Riley, head coach for the Army hockey program for the past ten seasons, has been chosen as the new president of the American Hockey Coaches' Association. Riley, who has served the AHCA for the past two years as Vice President for Membership, starts his new position as of July 1.
"Brian has demonstrated a sincere desire to assist the AHCA since he first became an officer two years ago," said AHCA Executive Director Joe Bertagna. "It is easy to see the qualities in him that have made him a success over the years."
Just the third Army hockey coach in the past 62 years, Brian Riley has made his mark on a program coached by his father and brother in just under a decade. He is a three-time Atlantic Hockey Association Coach of the Year, has guided Army to eight consecutive Atlantic Hockey Association playoff berths and led the team to its the first regular season championship in program history. Riley also serves on the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Committee, which is responsible for the management of the NCAA Championship.
The Rileys are the First Family of college hockey. Brian assisted his brother Rob for 14 seasons before taking the reins of the program. Rob coached a full 18 seasons at West Point, following the 36-year tenure of father Jack, who also led the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team to a gold medal at Squaw Valley.
A 1983 graduate of Brown, Riley began his coaching career in 1984 with a three-year stint as an assistant coach at SUNY Plattsburgh. During that period, the Cardinals advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament three times, reaching the championship game twice.
In 1988, Riley moved to the Division I ranks at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. There, he teamed with his cousin, Bill Riley, for one season, directing the River Hawks to the NCAA Tournament, giving him his fourth straight postseason appearance.
The following winter, Riley joined his brother's staff at West Point for the first time where he spent the next seven seasons. In 1996, the West Point native left the comfort and familiarity of the Academy, where he grew up, for the great Midwest and a head coaching position at Shattuck St. Mary's Prep School in Faribault, Minnesota. There, Riley carved out a stellar two-year coaching career in which his teams compiled an impressive 94-19-10 record. In his first season, Riley directed the squad to a 40-9-7 record before improving to 54-10-3 in 1997-98.
In 1999, Riley returned to West Point, where he served at his brother's side until assuming the head coaching position in 2004.
With Riley assuming his new duties, Cornell University assistant coach Ben Syer was named to replace him as AHCA Vice-President for Membership. Also, Clarkson head coach Casey Jones was named Vice-President for Sponsorships, replacing Providence College head coach Nate Leaman. In addition, the following coaches were named to serve on the AHCA Board of Governors: Dallas Ferguson, Head Coach at the University of Alaska; Rob Facca, Assistant Coach at Western Michigan University; Bill Moore, Head Coach at St. Mary's University; and Paul Lowden, Non-Varsity Representative, Davenport College.
Bertagna and Delventhal Re-Appointed
The AHCA also announced that Joe Bertagna and Bruce Delventhal have been re-appointed as Executive Director and Treasurer, respectively. Per AHCA by-laws, Bertagna's term is for four years and Delventhal's is for five.
Bertagna, who also serves as the commissioner of the Hockey East Association, is completing his 32nd year as a college hockey administrator. He spent 15 seasons with the ECAC before coming over to Hockey East at the start of the 1997-98 season. He has held the AHCA's Executive Director position since it was first created in 1991.
In addition to his administrative work, Bertagna, who played goal in the Harvard University Class of 1973, has been one of the country's most respected goalie coaches for more than four decades. Operating his own schools for goalies in New England, Bertagna served as goalie coach for the Boston Bruins for six seasons (1985-91) and for the 1994 U.S. Olympic Team. He also founded the Harvard University women's program, serving as its first head coach in 1978-79.
Bruce Delventhal has worked for the AHCA since 1988 as secretary/treasurer. As an officer of the AHCA, he's charged with creating and implementing budgets, developing convention agendas and generating sponsorships. He is also a member of the board of Hockey Coaches Care, a non-profit charitable organization which raises money to help people in need at all levels of the hockey community.
Following a successful coaching career, Delventhal was named director of athletics at Plattsburgh State on June 28, 2005. The Cardinals have achieved unparalleled success since his arrival, with 37 teams appearing in the NCAA Championships during the last eight years. Plattsburgh student-athletes have earned a higher grade-point average than the general student population during every semester since Bruce came to campus.
Prior to coming to Plattsburgh, the Hamilton College graduate held men's hockey coaching positions at Union College, RIT and Princeton. He led RIT to the 1985 NCAA Division III National Championship, and was an ECAC Coach of the Year during his Union tenure. He's also taught and coached hockey at the Northwood School in Lake Placid, N.Y.