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McCloskey "no longer employed" by UNH

"Inappropriate physical contact" is reason for termination

TNH Staff

Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013

Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013 00:12

This article was updated at 12:13 a.m. on December 6, 2013.

UNH women’s ice hockey head coach Brian McCloskey is no longer employed by the University of New Hampshire as of Thursday night due to “an investigation into an incident of inappropriate physical contact with a player on the bench” at a home game against Ohio State University on Nov. 30, according to the UNH Athletic Department’s press release Thursday night.

“The safety and well-being of our student athletes is our number one priority,” UNH Athletics Director Marty Scarano said in the press release, which was sent out shortly after McCloskey was let go. “Coaches are role models for our students and responsible for their dignity and safety, and we have zero tolerance for unsportsmanlike behavior on any of our athletic teams.”

McCloskey gave the following statement to The New Hampshire around 6:30 p.m. Thursday night:

“I have loved every aspect of my work at UNH. The people I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside through hockey and UNH are some of the very best I have ever known.

“My players, both current and past, are an extended family. I admire their dedication and strength of character. I will greatly miss sharing the remaining journey with this year’s team. They are an exceptional and loyal group. UNH will remain a special place with terrific people. I thank every one of them for the impact they’ve had on me and my family.”

Scarano told The New Hampshire that the department will not release any more information on the matter and is “trying to move on.”

Scarano, who is in his 14th season as the UNH Athletic Director, would not specify what the inappropriate physical contact specifically entailed.

“It is a very sensitive matter,” he said. “We are all going to restrict what we say to what was said [in the press release].

“It is a personnel matter, which typically in these cases the university is precluded from discussing it.”

The department began looking into the situation on Monday, according to Scarano.

“Specifically, he was suspended Monday, at 11 a.m., upon the initial findings that this was a serious incident,” Scarano said. “The final determination was made and rendered [Thursday].”

The UNH Human Resources Department worked in conjunction with university legal counsel as the investigation was carried out.

“It was more of an inquiry than an investigation,” Scarano said.

Scarano said UNH President Mark Huddleston was informed throughout the process, but was not directly involved in the investigation.

The press release also stated “the team’s two assistant coaches, Jamie Wood and Stephanie Jones, will lead the team in its two games this weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth. Conference play for the team will resume Jan. 10, 2014, with an interim head coach in place.”

In McCloskey’s time as the women’s hockey head coach from 2002 to 2013, he led the Wildcats to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2006-10), four quarterfinal home games (2006-09) and two Frozen Four appearances (2006, 2008). UNH was Hockey East regular-season champions from 2004-2009 and Hockey East Tournament champions from 2006-2009. Before being named head coach, McCloskey was an assistant coach at the university, beginning in 1998.


Nick Stoico and Max Sullivan can be reached on Twitter @NickStoico and @MaxSullivanLive, respectively.

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Sun Jan 19 2014 18:00
The ex-coach wrote a two-page diatribe which was distributed by leaving copies sitting on a table at the Whitt during a recent men's game. Basically he said it's all the player's fault because she's crazy, her conditioning was bad, and her bad attitude drove him to the breaking point. Regardless of what her mental or physical state may have been, McCloskey's comments were grossly inappropriate.

He gave away enough details so you can easily figure out who it was. I will not say who it was, but she's a good player whose career has been interrupted by a serious injury. She has performed well both before and after that injury. She is also one of the smaller players on the team.

Wed Jan 15 2014 15:35
I will never ever ever allow one of my children to attend UNH. UNH Alumni
Thu Jan 9 2014 12:32
Was at this game. Coach did more than just pull her jersey. Was violent. They didn't fire him over nothing.
Wed Jan 8 2014 12:46
that's what schooling unfortunately has come down to...... students, student/athletes cannot be properly disciplined by their teachers/coaches without the fear of mommy and daddy making a stink, McCloskey did ABSOLUTLEY nothing wrong. This athlete has been a problem from day one........the athlete should have been the one that was terminated......end of story.
Tue Jan 7 2014 23:18
Only days from opening the second half of the season and AD Scarano still has yet to further comment on this story (not that anyone was expecting him to) and he has yet to name the interim coach - as he said he would do by Jan. 10. Nice job, Marty! Thanks for nothing.
UNH Hockey Fan
Fri Dec 13 2013 01:13
Would have been nice had the AD given a more appropriate accounting rather than throw out some vague statement that led to most people thinking the worst of this. The player screwed up on the ice, got an earful when she got back to the bench, then was foul mouthed in her response. Her jersey was tugged to turn her around and face the music, and she had a finger wagged in her face. Mistakes by both. And if you have a zero tolerance policy fine, but don't hang the guy out to dry with comments like "inappropriate contact with a player" and " the safety and well-being of the student-athlete is..." as though she was in grave physical danger.

And speaking of zero tolerance of unsportsmanlike behavior; how is it that the player can tell the coach to "go F himself" and is still on the team? I guess avoiding mommy and daddy whining and threatening litigation is more important than someone's reputation. Sad day for UNH athletics.

Fri Dec 6 2013 10:08
What! Not a second chance for the coach? He should get some pointers from Dorfsman about how to get a shrink to declare him totally depressed after his team's wins are not as frequent as before. He should have joined some union so he would be totally protected. What's good for the goose, should be good for the gander! Get them both fired and keep them fired.
Fri Dec 6 2013 08:32
don't know the guy but after HOW MANY YEARS he is accused of this? REALLy

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