Thursday, July 21, 2011

Guest Post: A Look at Men Hockey's Newest Assistant

Editor's note- After Harvard announced that Albie O'Connell, an assistant coach at Northeastern for three years, had been named the new assistant coach for the Crimson, we contacted WRBB, Northeastern student radio, for a little inside scoop about Harvard's newest hire. The following was written by Ben Horner, men's hockey broadcaster and the sports director over at WRBB.

It's hard to quantify what Albie O'Connell brings to a college hockey program.  While you might be hard-pressed to find someone who would sing the praises of his coaching ability from a purely "X's and O's" standpoint, you certainly won't have to search hard to find a player to "pump his tires", to quote a certain NHL. goaltender. 

O'Connell's biggest strength is his ability to connect with players on their level, speaking to them instead of at them, etc..  In short, O'Connell is at his best when he is recruiting players, selling the virtues of a program and university as a whole.  During his time with the Huskies, it was not uncommon to hear stories of Albie being the one to do the majority of the recruiting, with players only meeting former head coach Greg Cronin at the very end of the process.  One need look no further than the quick, impulse reactions of some of Northeastern's recruiting class following his departure to understand what a valuable asset Albie O'Connell is to a program.

-Ben Horner. WRBB

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Crimson Clicks, July 20th

News, notes, and mentions of Harvard sports in the past week...

Harvard featured prominently in the New York Times article about changes in Ivy League practice rules to curb the rate of concussions. From the Times:

"“I’m not sure there will be any dramatic changes, because the changes over the last few years for dealing with head hits have changed dramatically,” said Tim Murphy, the football coach at Harvard. “If we want young people to continue to fall in love with this great sport, we have to protect the athletes.”
Murphy said that reducing the amount of contact during the week will not only reduce the chance of head trauma,
but also keep his players fresher on game days. Too much contact in practice can lead to diminishing returns, he said. Murphy added that he did not think that the stricter rules will have any impact on recruiting. "

Men's Hockey hires new assistant (USCHO) Albie O'Connell hired to coach defensemen and special teams after three years at Northeastern.

An incoming linebacker recruit gets glowing praise from a local paper (The Statesman). He's got high expectations. From the Statesman:

"Sheehan has already set a series of goals for his stay on the Cambridge, Mass., campus. He hopes to win 40 games with the Crimson, and he wants to find a way to change an ivy League rule that does not allow the league's football teams to participate in postseason games".

The ACC Sports Journal mentions Tommy Amaker in a conversation about replacements for Mike Krzyzweski at Duke. Here is the exerpt:

Tommy Amaker may have put himself back in the running with the masterful job he’s done at Harvard, which helps erase the memory of his failure at Michigan.
Amaker understands the daunting task that faces Krzyzewski’s successor.
“I don’t think anyone wants to replace Coach K,” he said recently, in an interview with GoDuke magazine. “Speaking for myself … every step of the way, I enjoy the process of building. Every place I’ve been, I think I’ve played a small role in leaving a mark. But every mark has been touched at Duke. He’s a legend, an icon.”

Drew Cannon of Basketball Prospectus has Keith Wright as an "honorable mention" when discussing the top 100 players in Division I.

Bonus Clicks:

Abby Wambach's sister talks about her sister playing for Harvard (Yahoo! Sports)

Manchester United comes by campus, visiting one of the least sports-savvy campuses in the least soccer-crazy nation in the world.

Until next time, Go Crimson!