Monday, June 9, 2014

Familiar Face Named Associate Coach

FREDERICTON, N.B. – UNB Director of Athletics John Richard is pleased to announce the addition of former UNB MVP Rob Hennigar to the coaching staff of the Varsity Reds hockey program as Associate Coach and Hockey Camp Coordinator.
 
"It is my pleasure to announce Rob as our associate coach and hockey camp coordinator," said Richard. "Rob is a superb hockey player and he has worked with our camps as an instructor and as a volunteer coach with our team; we couldn't have asked for a better fit for our program."
 
A two-time CIS All-Canadian and four-time AUS All-Star, Hennigar played a key role in UNB's 2007 National Championship and even bigger role in their 2008 National Silver medal.  The former 2005 AUS rookie of the year, Hennigar also helped lead Team Canada AUS to the gold medal at the 2007 Winter Universiade in Italy, where he tied for the team lead with nine points in six outings, including a pair of goals in a 3-1 gold-medal victory over Russia. In 2008 he was named UNB's MVP for the fourth consecutive time, both the AUS and CIS hockey MVP and became the first male hockey player to win the prestigious BLG award as the CIS Athlete of the Year after leading the nation in scoring in conference play with 58 points (15-43-58) in 27 games. 
 
"I am extremely excited to be returning to the UNB family," said Hennigar.  "Since coming here in 2004 as a player I've always felt that UNB and the City of Fredericton have been unbelievable to me.  With getting this position I have a chance to give back to the program and the City - I couldn't be happier.  This is a dream job for not only me but my wife as well who is a former UNB basketball player and loves UNB.  I look forward to working with Gardiner and helping the program continue to be one of the top programs in the CIS."
 
Hennigar left UNB after a stellar four years when he signed a two-year contract with the NHL's New York Islanders.  He spent his first year with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) and the three following years in the AHL and ECHL before heading to Europe. He signed a one year contract in Cortina, Italy in the Series A and helped lead the team to the Coppa Italia Championship. In 2013 he signed a one-year contract with SERC Wild Wings in Germany who lost in the league finals. Despite numerous contract offers, Hennigar stayed in Fredericton this past year to be with his family for the birth of his daughter. He was the MVP of the Newfoundland Senior League and helped his team to the league title.

"We are very fortunate that Rob has decided to retire as a player and join our coaching staff. He will continue the strong UNB tradition of alumni playing a key coaching role in the success of our program. Rob was recruited to UNB as a very good player, continued to grow his game here and left as the best player in the country while also playing a key role in the elevation of our program to National prominence. He has great passion for UNB, has an elite hockey mind and is an excellent communicator and teacher. It is a special opportunity to have a former player as a key part of our staff," were the words of UNB Head coach Gardiner MacDougall.
 
Hennigar will begin his duties immediately and will be a key instructor for the upcoming UNB Pumpernickel Skills and Drill summer program at the Aitken Centre.