Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quinnipiac: Cashman hired; Samuels-Thomas transferring in

Reid Cashman, an All-American defenseman and, it's safe to say, the greatest player in Quinnipiac history, has been hired as an assistant coach. The school is set to make an official announcement either today or tomorrow.

As was reported last month in the Register, Brian Renfrew, the former associate head coach at Michigan State, had been offered and accepted the job at Quinnipiac vacated by Ben Syer, who took a job as an assistant at Cornell. Renfrew had second thoughts, and was recently hired as an assistant at Nebraska-Omaha.

Cashman applied for the job when it first opened. When he didn't get it, he planned to play in Germany this season. "I woke up one morning, and had the contract in my email," Cashman said. "Rand called like five minutes later and asked if I had signed anything. Had he called a day later, it would have been too late."

Cashman helped Quinnipiac transition from Atlantic Hockey to the ECAC, scoring 148 career points (including back-to-back 41-point campaigns in the school's first two seasons in the ECAC). He was the key ingredient in Quinnipiac's run to the 2007 ECAC championship game, a loss to Clarkson, and went on to play five years of professional hockey in the AHL, ECHL and, last season, in Austria.

I also spoke with Jordan Samuels-Thomas this morning, and he confirmed he will be enrolled at Quinnipiac this semester. The leading scorer at Bowling Green the past two seasons, Samuels-Thomas, a West Hartford resident, said he needed to be closer to home due to some family issues. Samuels-Thomas, who held out hope for a hardship waiver from the NCAA to become eligible this fall, said he will definitely have to sit out this season per transfer rules. But he will be able to practice with the team, and have two years of eligibility remaining starting in the fall of 2012.

"It's the right situation, and I'm blessed for the opportunity to play close to home," Samuels-Thomas said. "I haven't played at home in a long time. It will be good to have friends and family close by."

Samuels-Thomas played at the Canterbury School as a freshman and sophomore, then played for the Hartford Junior Wolfpack before heading to Waterloo of the USHL. Quinnipiac was among the schools interested, but he decided on Bowling Green, where he led the team with 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) as a freshman and 21 points (9-12) last winter.

Look for more in Friday's Register.


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