ROCHESTER, NY – Head Coach Scott McDonald of the RIT women’s hockey team, signed a five-year contract extension, announced Lou Spiotti, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, on Thursday, May 28. McDonald’s contract will run through the 2020 season.
In nine seasons as head coach at RIT, McDonald has an overall record of 186-72-23, including the 2012 Division III National Championship. In just three seasons as a Division I program, he has led RIT to two College Hockey America Championships, and in 2015, RIT’s first berth into the NCAA Division I Tournament.
The Class of 2015 finished with a 15-2 postseason record in four seasons, with three league championships. Overall, McDonald has a 21-8 mark in the postseason since taking over at RIT in 2006, leading the Tigers to four NCAA Tournament berths (2007, 2011, 2012, 2015), and four league titles (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015).
“Scott McDonald brought our women’s hockey program to the national forefront at the Division III level with a national championship and now is doing the same at the Division I level,” said Spiotti. “He is clearly one of the top coaches in all of college hockey and has molded teams, forged leaders, and built a lasting foundation here at RIT.”
On May 21, RIT was one of seven Division I women’s hockey teams honored by the NCAA for its excellent Academic Progress Rate (APR), as it received a Public Recognition Award, joining Ivy League schools Brown and Harvard, plus fellow Liberty League and ECAC foes Rensselaer and Union, Boston College and fellow College Hockey America member Penn State.
Under McDonald’s tutelage, the Tigers have not only excelled on the ice and in the classroom, but have become active members in the community. The women’s hockey program has participated in several fundraising initiatives for organizations such as CURE Childhood Cancer, Autism Up, “One Team One Fight”, and the Testicular Cancer Foundation of Western New York.
McDonald, who led RIT to the 2012 Division III National Championship, is Division III’s all-time leader with a .835 winning percentage and is RIT’s all-time leader in coaching victories. McDonald is just 14 wins shy of 200 heading into the 2015-16 season.
A native of Oakville, Ontario, McDonald is the only person in NCAA history to play at the Division I and III level, and coach at both divisions on both the men’s and women’s sides. His new contract extension will run through the 2014-15 season.
Before beginning his coaching career, McDonald played four years at Niagara University, helping lead the Purple Eagles to the 2000 NCAA Division I Tournament. McDonald began his coaching career on the men’s side as an assistant at Utica College during the 2002-03 season. He served as the assistant coach for the RIT men’s hockey program from 2003-06, putting forth a tremendous effort in recruiting talented student-athletes as the Tigers made the leap to Division I in 2005.
“I would like to thank President (Bill) Destler, Dr. (Jim) Watters, Dr. (Sandy) Johnson, and Mr. Lou Spiotti for their incredible support,” said McDonald. “It’s comforting to know that the entire administration from the president on down believes in the direction of our program and the forward progression we have made in such a short time. It is an honor to be at RIT.
We have a great administrative staff, everyone behind the scenes who helps us run a first class organization. I am fortunate to have a tremendous group of student-athletes, past and present, who have enjoyed success not only on the ice, but in the classroom, and that has been proven, time and time again. I would also like to thank our great RIT fan base and Rochester community; their support is second to none and makes our rink one of the most electric atmospheres in Division I.”