As part of the ongoing L.E.A.D.S. Speaker Series, the Salisbury community welcomed Mike Cavanaugh, Head Men’s Hockey Coach at the University of Connecticut. Coach Cavanaugh shared with the boys some important and practical ways to ensure that they make the most of their time here on the Hilltop, whether it be for one or for four years. As Coach Cavanaugh conveyed to the students, the length of time spent somewhere is not the most important aspect of one’s experience, but rather what one does with the time that they have.
Mike Cavanaugh sits at the helm of the UConn men’s hockey program. Cavanaugh was instrumental in transitioning the team to Hockey East and has the Huskies on the rise in the toughest hockey conference in the nation.
Under Cavanaugh's leadership the UConn program had its first-ever NHL first round draft pick and two players became the first Huskies to play in the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship where Team USA brought home the gold medal.
Cavanaugh led the Huskies to an eighth place finish in the standings and earned the program’s first-ever home playoff series in the league.
This new era of Huskies hockey moved the team to it's new home at the XL Center in downtown Hartford. The program set new records for season ticket sales in recent seasons, ranking them among the top-12 programs in the nation in home attendance.
As the Huskies fourth head men’s hockey coach in UConn history, Cavanaugh led the Huskies to consecutive winning seasons for just the second time in the program’s Division I history.
Cavanaugh was also the 2017 recipient of the Jim Calhoun Community Service Award. He has forged a partnership with the Hartford Police Activities League (PAL), a non-profit unit with the Hartford Police Department, as a way to encourage community service within the men’s ice hockey team. PAL offers inner city youth recreational and educational activities that provide a welcomed alternative to violence, gang membership, truancy and substance abuse. The men’s ice hockey team regularly participates in pick-up street hockey and ice hockey games with youth who attend the after-school program in Hartford.
Before arriving at Uconn, Cavanaugh spent 18 seasons at Boston College on legendary head coach Jerry York’s coaching staff. While at BC, he was named the winner of the 2013 Terry Flanagan Award by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA). The Flanagan Award is given annually to honor an assistant coach’s career body of work in the college game.
He is a graduate of Bowdoin College, where he was a three-year ice hockey letterman for the Polar Bears, serving as team captain. Cavanaugh then spent one year in London serving as player/coach of the Richmond Ice Hockey Club before returning to the U.S. as the assistant hockey coach at the Belmont Hill School for the 1991-92 season. From there, he joined Jerry York’s staff at Bowling Green from 1992-93. While at BGSU, Cavanaugh earned a master’s degree in sports management.