ACHA Women's Division - 2005 Awards


2005 ACHA Women's Division
Coach of the Year

Beth McCann

University of Rhode Island Rams

The coaches of the ACHA Women's Division have named URI's Beth McCann as the 2005 Coach of the Year. McCann's selection reflects both her team's on-ice success as well as her dedication to women's ice hockey at the collegiate level.

McCann was selected from a field of dedicated coaches which also included:

John Burke, Robert Morris College
Jeff Cunningham, The Ohio State University
Bill Finn, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Ken Nelson, University of Colorado

McCann, the first woman in the history of the ACHA Women’s Division to receive Coach of the Year honors, brings over twenty-five years of hockey experience to the Rams. In just her sixth season coaching the team, McCann‘s 2004-2005 team boasted an ACHA record of 23-4-3; an ACHA East record of 20-0-1; and ECWHL (Eastern Collegiate Women’s Hockey League) 12-0-1. She led the Rams two years in a row to the ACHA Women's Division National Tournament semifinal game and to two ECWHL Championships. Her overall record of 74-49-9 is even more impressive knowing the first three years produced just four victories. 

Coach McCann founded the URI Women’s Ice Hockey team in 1999 with no arena on campus. Fast forward to the year 2005, and the University of Rhode Island Women’s Ice Hockey team is skating and competing out of a first-class facility, is nationally ranked #4 and an undefeated #1 in the Northeast.

McCann has created a platform and a competitive forum to showcase her players, with much success. Over the past three years, URI has had four ACHA All-Americans; eleven players named ACHA All-Tournament (5 First Team selections, 2 players on the Second Team and 4 Honorable Mentions); 1 runner-up for the ACHA Player of the Year; 1 ECWHL MVP; and 4 ECWHL All-Tournament Team selections. Off the ice, the Rams also have three ACHA Academic All-Americans and three AWHCA Academic Scholars.

McCann has been a powerful pioneer for the growth and development of women’s ice hockey at the youth and collegiate level in Rhode Island. As a member of the first Rhode Island Women’s Ice hockey team (the Cranston Panthers) from 1977-79, she was the team's high scorer and team captain. She was league MVP in 1979 as the team traveled to play internationally in Stockholm, Sweden.

Coach McCann furthered her hockey career by attending Northeastern University where she played a major role in Northeastern’s success as a first-year varsity program. Her talents contributed to NU capturing two Beanpot Championships in 1984 and 1985. She demonstrated team leadership for the Huskies as captain for two seasons. In 1985, McCann was a proud representative for the Huskies in the AWHCA Women’s Ice Hockey All Star Game.

McCann continues to contribute and be a driving force to the growth and development of women’s ice hockey in her home state and the ACHA at a national level. Her proposal and vision of the formation of an ACHA National Team to compete nationally and internationally is under way. McCann is the ACHA Women's Division liaison to the American Women's Hockey Coaches' Association (AWHCA), and is president and founder of the Eastern Collegiate Women’s Hockey League (ECWHL).  The formation of the ECWHL has provided a competitive forum for its members to showcase their talent. The league has become a well respected league of teams committed to the growth and development of women’s ice hockey at the collegiate non-varsity level.

2001-Present ACHA Member
2001-Present AWHCA Voting member
2002-Present ACHA Women’s Division Ranking Committee member
2003-Present President and Founder of ECWHL
2004-2005 ACHA Competition Committee
2005-present AWHCA Expansion/Retention Committee

McCann is a native of Rhode Island and resides with her husband Tracy and their three daughters: Murphy and Tracy, twins age twelve, and Madison, age 6, in Westerly, Rhode Island.

Past ACHA Women's Division Coach of the Year honorees


Chris Uschan, University of Wisconsin


Craig Payment, Michigan State University


Jim Henry, University at Buffalo


Jay Coopersmith, St. Cloud State University

Created by: Erin Russ -- Last updated:May 20, 2005