Niagara Head Coach Contract Extension

Niagara University announced that hockey head coach David Burkholder has reached an agreement for a contract extension through the 2016-17 season on Tuesday.

Other terms of the renegotiated contract were not disclosed.

“Dave continues to run one of the best programs in college hockey across the board, so it is important for Niagara University to keep him behind the bench,” McLaughlin said. “Every year, Dave puts a good product on the ice and that success carries over to all aspects of the Niagara Hockey student-athletes’ lives. They live the Catholic and Vincentian mission of the university every day while competing for Atlantic Hockey championships.”

Last season, Burkholder’s 11th on the bench and second season in Atlantic Hockey (AHA) competition, saw the Purple Eagles amass 17 wins after playing one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the program’s history including Frozen Four participant Union, Minnesota, Michigan and Cornell. Niagara advanced to the 2012 AHA Tournament semifinals after winning its best-of-three quarterfinals series against Robert Morris at Dwyer Arena.

“I am elated to have the confidence of Father Levesque and his administration, and I thank them for allowing me to continue leading this program,” Burkholder said. “We have had many success stories both on and off the ice and look forward to being a part of many more. The Niagara University community has meant so much to me and my family that we are excited about the years to come.”

The two-time College Hockey Association (CHA) Coach of the Year has coached the Purple Eagles to 191 total wins, two CHA Tournament Championships, two CHA regular-season titles and a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament. Burkholder also coached two Hobey Baker Award finalists in Joe Tallari and Paul Zanette and the program’s first All-American (Zanette), while fostering six CHA and one AHA Player of the Year Award winners, and two CHA Tournament MVPs.

Prior to being named Niagara’s second-ever coach in 2001, Burkholder spent five years as a Purple Eagles assistant coach.

Twenty-one graduated student-athletes who were coached under Burkholder are still active professionally in North America or Europe, with Scott Arnold (Phoenix Coyotes) and goaltender Chris Noonan (Toronto Marlies) being the most recent to join the professional ranks. Eleven graduates are still involved in the game as full-time coaches.

Off the ice, Burkholder has mentored four AHA and one CHA Student-Athlete of the Year winners and had 138 players named to the CHA or AHA All-Academic Team, including at least 11 in each of the last eight seasons.

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