Hobart College Hockey Head Coach Mark Taylor was recently named the head coach for the USA World University Men’s hockey team for the FISU Winter World University Games held Jan. 11-21, 2023 in Lake Placid, New York.
This year for the first time, the United States International University Student Federation plans to field a competitive men’s team comprised of the top Division III players from across the country. Taylor will be joined on his staff by some of the top minds from across the country. Matt Loen from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will serve as associate head coach. Former Lawrence University Head Coach Mike Szkodzinski and Middlebury Assistant Coach Jack Ceglarski will serve as assistant coaches. Former Middlebury Head Coach Bill Beaney is the team’s general manager.
“I feel honored for the opportunity and really embrace the responsibility to try and field the best team for the best performance by the United States team in this tournament,” Taylor said. “This is a great opportunity for the Division III players to have this type of experience.”
Taylor’s first job will be putting together a roster that will compete against many of the best university players in the world while showcasing the high level of play at Division III. The next task will be getting the group to gel quickly. With the tournament taking place in the midst of the season, there will not be time for a “training camp,” so players will have just a few practices onsite prior to the tournament opener on Jan. 11.
Team USA will play in Pool B against Great Britain, South Korea, Slovakia, Kazakhstan and Hungary with the top two teams in the pool advancing to the medal round. Canada, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Japan, Latvia and Sweeden will play in Pool A. Pool B games will be played at Clarkson University’s Cheel Arena. The Pool A games will be played at SUNY Canton’s Roo House. The playoff rounds will take at the Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid.
The team USA Roster will be announced in early December.
The 2021-22 New England Hockey Conference Coach of the Year, Taylor is in his 23rd year in charge of the Statesmen. He has compiled a 357-172-54 overall record. He is just the fourth man to lead the Statesmen and has more wins than all his predecessors combined. Taylor is responsible for all eight of Hobart’s 20-win seasons. He has been named the conference coach of the year seven times. Taylor has mentored 61 all-conference selections and 23 all-rookie team picks. Eight Statesmen have been named conference player of the year and six have been named rookie of the year under his leadership. All 16 of Hobart’s All-Americans have come during Taylor’s tenure.
This year, Taylor has Hobart off to an 8-0-0 start and ranked No. 1 in the country. It is just the second time in program history that the Statesmen are unblemished through the first eight games of the season. The Statesmen will go for their ninth straight win on Friday, Dec. 2, when they welcome Castleton to The Cooler.
(Hobart Hockey Photo)