May 30, 2013
STORRS, Conn.- University of Connecticut women’s ice hockey head coach Chris MacKenzie has announced the hiring of Casey Handrahan and Jaclyn Hawkins as assistant coaches on his staff. Handrahan comes to UConn after spending the past three seasons as the head coach and assistant athletic director at Neumann University. Hawkins, a 2008 Husky graduate, returns to Storrs after working as the Director of Player & Organization Development for the Connecticut Northern Lights the past two years.
“I’m excited to add Casey and Jaclyn to our staff. They both have the experience and passion that will help our program,” MacKenzie stated.
Handrahan compiled a 35-36-7 overall record over three years at the helm of the Neumann Knights. In his inaugural season with the Knights the team achieved its highest overall season winning percentage in program history with a 16-7-4 overall record. Under his tutelage, two student-athletes were placed on All-ECAC teams. Handrahan’s teams were not only successful on the ice but also in the classroom as 25 student-athletes were placed on all-academic teams over his three years.
Prior to Neumann, Handrahan spent five seasons as a professional hockey player. In 2006, he was an integral part of the Kalamazoo K-Wings defense that won the Turner and Colonial Cup Championships in the United Hockey League. In the 2007-08 season, he was named the Defenseman of the Year with the Bloomington Prairie Thunder of the International Hockey League. In that same season, he was called-up to the American Hockey League for a stint with the Peoria Rivermen. In 2009, Handrahan went back to Kalamazoo and played his final season as a player-assistant.
A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Handrahan played his colligate years at Niagara University. In 2004, he made his impact as the team won the CHA Championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament. While a Purple Eagle, Handrahan was named to the CHA All-Academic Team twice and received his bachelor’s degree in business marketing. Handrahan and his wife, Kelly have two daughters, Madison and Ryley.
“Casey has a great knowledge of the game and wants to develop players to their highest level. He is hard working by example and has a ton of experience that will help our program,” MacKenzie commented.
Hawkins is familiar with the Huskies’ program after compiling a successful four-year career as a student-athlete and then moving from the ice to behind the bench and becoming a UConn assistant for the 2008-09 season. The Manotick, Ont. native returns to Storrs as an assistant coach after serving as the Director of Player and Organization development with the Connecticut Northern Lights in Simsbury. During her two years in Simsbury, Hawkins provided hockey services such as training, coaching and playing an integral role in the prep/college process for the athletes. Additionally, she designed and implemented off-ice stick handling and shooting, oversaw coaching requirements and ensured all coaches abided by USAH regulations and was a lead member of the Hockey Operations Committee.
In 2010, Hawkins created the website www.WomensHockeyLife.com which provides a multitude of services to female hockey players, parents and coaches. The site assists in sending players overseas, to college and prep schools. It also provides information to females on present and future opportunities while providing personal insight from players at all levels through blogs, success stories and advice from coaches.
Hawkins played professionally in Switzerland for the ZSC Lions during the 2009-10 season. In 18 games there, she led the team with 29 goals and 26 assists for 55 points and helped the Lions to their first ever Swiss Championship game.
“Jaclyn has a very clear understanding of our past and an incredible passion for our future. She is genuine and cares deeply about the success of this program,” finished MacKenzie.
Hawkins, the 2004-05 Hockey East Rookie of the Year, served as a captain her senior and junior years at UConn, as well as an alternate captain her sophomore season. She led the Huskies with a program-high 27 assists this past season while adding 14 goals for 41 points. Hawkins currently leads the UConn program in career goals, assists and points as she finished her collegiate career with the Huskies earning a program-record 22 wins.
In a total of 137 games with the Huskies, Hawkins contributed 144 points on 69 goals scored and 75 assists. As a junior, she led the Huskies with 18 goals, 18 assists and 36 points. As a sophomore, she led the program in all three categories as well, including 12 goals, 15 assists and 27 points.