ROCHESTER, NY – Head Coach Wayne Wilson of the RIT men’s hockey team, signed a seven-year contract extension, announced by Lou Spiotti, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, on Thursday, June 4. Wilson’s contract will run through the 2022 season.
In 16 seasons as head coach at RIT, Wilson has an overall record of 302-180-54. In 2014-15, Wilson led the Tigers to their second Atlantic Hockey Conference Championship, and second trip to the NCAA Division I Tournament, where RIT would advance to the Midwest Regional final.
Under Wilson’s tutelage, the Tigers have defeated at least one nationally-ranked team in nine of 10 Division I seasons. Last season, RIT knocked off the No. 1 team in the country for the first time, defeating Minnesota State in the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal.
“Wayne Wilson has become one of the premier collegiate hockey coaches in the nation,” said Spiotti. “He has consistently led the program to the highest levels within the NCAA. As a former national coach of the year, Wayne brings the kind of excellence and quality that any collegiate program could only wish for.
Wilson is the only head coach to win both the Edward Jeremiah Award (2001 Division III National Coach of the Year) and the Penrose Award (Division I National Coach of the Year). RIT completed its first season in the 4,300-seat Gene Polisseni Center in 2014-15.
The Tigers have won at least 20 games in a season eight times under Wilson. In 2010, Wilson led the squad to a 28-12-1 record en route to a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four. Since moving to Division I in 2005, RIT has a 141-73-34 record in Atlantic Hockey league play, with four regular season championships and two conference titles.
Under Wilson’s tutelage, the Tigers have not only excelled on the ice and in the classroom, but have become active members in the community, with several fundraising initiatives for organizations such as Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation for Breast Cancer Education and Awareness, “One Team One Fight”, and Testicular Cancer Foundation of Western New York among others.
“Wayne has done a tremendous job leading our men’s hockey program and we are thrilled to sign him to a seven-year extension,” said Dr. Sandy Johnson, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs at RIT. “His student-athletes represent the university with class on and off the ice.”
A 1984 graduate of Bowling Green, Wilson played defense for the Falcons — and then coach Jerry York — from 1980-1984, serving as team captain in 1984 when BGSU won the NCAA championship in an historic four overtime battle against Minnesota-Duluth, prevailing by 5-4.
Wilson later served as an assistant at Bowling Green before taking the RIT head coach position in 1999. Prior to RIT moving into Division I, he led the Tigers to three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances.
“Wayne has been the foundation upon which we have built a national caliber program at both the Division I and Division III levels,” said Spiotti. “Coach Wilson has been an outstanding mentor and role model for our student-athletes. We are very pleased that he is willing to remain a Tiger for the next seven years.”
“I’m very grateful for the faith Lou Spiotti, Dr. Sandy Johnson, Jim Watters, and Dr. Destler have in my leadership of our hockey program,” said Wilson. “I can’t think of a better place to be coaching than RIT. The support from our administration for the hockey program, my family, and assistant coaches is second to none. I look forward to the challenges of keeping RIT hockey competitive at the national level.
I am lucky to coach at a school where hockey is very much a part of our student experience. Our corner crew and overall student body are second to none and we receive great support from not only them but the Rochester community.”