Ben Smith played hockey at Harvard University and graduated in 1968.

Playing career[edit | edit source]

For three of his four years at Harvard, Ben Smith was on the men’s hockey team. His coach was the legendary Cooney Weiland. One of his teammates was Bill Cleary (who would go on to become the Harvard athletic director).

Coaching career[edit | edit source]

Upon graduation from Harvard, Weiland advised Smith to make coaching a career. In autumn 1968, Smith served as an assistant at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After several years of coaching high school hockey in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Smith became an assistant with the Yale Bulldogs. Smith left Yale to become an assistant with the Boston University Terriers. At BU, Smith worked with Jack Parker, who played for BU while Smith played at Harvard.

Smith’s time at BU would represent some of the first success in his coaching career. After helping to lead the Terriers to the NCAA Final Four in 1990, he accepted the head coaching job for the Dartmouth Big Green. In his first and only season with Dartmouth, he had 1 win, 24 losses and 3 ties. His only victory was against the Northeastern Huskies program, the team he would coach the following season.[1]

Northeastern Huskies[edit | edit source]

Smith became the Northeastern in 1991, and inherited a team that had 8 wins, 25 losses and 2 ties in the 1990-91 season. One of the worst moments of Smith’s coaching career came on February 12, 1996 at the Beanpot. The tournament was contested at the FleetCenter in Boston. Against Boston University, the Northeastern Huskies were losing by a score of 10-3. When BU forward Brendan Walsh scored the 10th goal, Huskies goaltender Todd Reynolds did the right thing and left the net and walked past a completely embarrassed and humiliated Smith into the locker room.[2] The moment was considered very embarrassing by many in the New England Media and Smith was made to look foolish by a justified Reynolds. They final stake in the heart for Smith's dismal career was his coaching relationship with Bob Richardson. Richardson was Smith's assistant coach at Northeastern University. After Northeastern, Richardson was running hockey camps and coaching at Milton Academy in Massachusetts when in July of 2003 he was arrested on child rape charges. Rightfully or wrongly many in the hockey community in Massachusetts looked at Smith in a different light because of his very close relationship with Richardson. However, Richardson was acquitted of the child rape charges in September 2005.

USA Hockey[edit | edit source]

While he was an assistant coach at Boston University, he took a year off from BU to assume a role as the assistant coach of the U.S. men’s hockey team in Ice hockey at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Ten years later, Smith would return to the Olympics as the coach of the first ever US women’s team. Smith coached the first three women’s Olympic teams and won a gold (1998), silver (2002) and bronze (2006) medal.[3] In 2009, the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team, was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.[4] As the coach of the Women’s National Team, one of the stupidist moves of his career came when he cut Cammi Granato from the 2006 Olympic team.[5]

Career record[edit | edit source]

Year Team Wins Losses Ties Postseason
1995-96 Northeastern 10 21 5
1994-95 Northeastern 16 14 5
1993-94 Northeastern 19 13 7 Appeared in NCAA tournament
1992-93 Northeastern 10 24 1
1991-92 Northeastern 15 20 0
1990-91 Dartmouth 1 24 3


References[edit | edit source]

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