Washington Capitals assistant coach Reid Cashman has landed Dartmouth College’s vacant head coaching job. Cashman will remain with the Capitals until the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
Longtime head coach Bob Gaudet, 61, announced his sudden retirement in April after spending 23 years behind the bench. Gaudet, who wants to help care for his 90-year-old father and 88-year-old mother in Massachusetts, won a school-record 331 games and is one of seven college coaches to reach 1,000 games.
News first circulated in the morning when ESPN’s John Buccigross reported that Cashman was the “favorite” to get the job earlier in the day.
Please welcome the 22nd head coach in program history and the newest Koenig Family Head Coach of @Dartmouth_MIH, @ReidCashman! pic.twitter.com/IVjUroVhT4
— Dartmouth Athletics (@dartmouthsports) June 1, 2020
“I feel like I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime to be the head coach of the Dartmouth men’s hockey program,” Cashman said according to Dartmouth’s website. “For 114 years, Dartmouth has competed at the highest level and has produced Olympians, All-Americans and NHL players. Along with the great history on the ice, Dartmouth College has been one of the finest institutions in the world for more than 250 years. It is truly an honor to be given this prestigious opportunity.
“I would like to thank Harry Sheehy, [Senior Associate Athletics Director] Richard Whitmore, [Deputy Athletics Director] Bob Ceplikas and all the individuals I met during the interview process who gave great insight on the culture and passion of Dartmouth and the men’s hockey program,” Cashman continued. “I am following a legendary coach, alum and person in Bob Gaudet. Coach Gaudet has run the program with integrity and class for the last 23 years. The standard has been set and I look forward to building on the foundation that he has laid.”
The Capitals released a statement Monday afternoon congratulating Cashman on the nod.
“The Washington Capitals congratulate Reid Cashman on being named the head coach of Dartmouth College men’s hockey team. We appreciate his tireless work ethic and contributions to the organization over the past four seasons, both with the Capitals and the Hershey Bears, working with the organization’s defensemen. Cashman will remain in his capacity as an assistant coach for the remainder of the season before joining Dartmouth.”
Congratulations to Capitals assistant coach Reid Cashman who has been named head coach of Dartmouth College men's hockey team.
Cashman will remain in his capacity as an assistant coach for the remainder of the season before joining Dartmouth. pic.twitter.com/BkMUapbWnz
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 1, 2020
Cashman has coached the Capitals’ defense for the last two seasons, filling Todd Reirden’s former role. The Quinnipiac alum was promoted to Washington from Hershey after Lane Lambert left to join Barry Trotz’s coaching staff on the New York Islanders in July 2018.
Since Cashman arrived in Washington, the team’s defense has struggled at times, including a dreadful stretch from January until March when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re obviously spending a lot of time the last couple games working on getting better on our D-zone coverage around our net,” Reirden said in February after the Capitals had lost six of their last nine games. “We’re getting players to the front of the net to defend the net better and then we’re not doing our job. We’re not hard enough around that area and we’re losing battles.”
Meanwhile, longtime Capitals defenseman John Carlson blossomed under Cashman’s tutelage and emerged as the favorite to win the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman. Carlson led the Capitals in points this season with 75 in 69 games.
Prior to his time in Hershey, Cashman spent five seasons with the NCAA’s Quinnipiac Bobcats as an assistant coach. During his final year with the Bobcats, he was promoted to associate head coach. Quinnipiac reached the NCAA tournament four times during Cashman’s time behind the bench, including two Frozen Fours.
Cashman was also a three-time All-American player with Quinnipiac, and the current record-holder at Quinnipiac University for career assists with 125. He also holds the single-season defenseman records for assists in 2006-2007 with 35 and in 2004-2005 with 45. After leaving the NCAA as a player, he had a small stint in the AHL playing for the Toronto Marlies, Wilks-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and Milwaukee Admirals.
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