Head Coach Nate Leaman
The 2013-14 season saw the Friars post a 22-11-6 record, tying the mark for the third-most wins in program history. Providence placed third in the regular-season Hockey East standings and, after a home, quarterfinal-series sweep of Maine, advanced to the Hockey East Championship semifinals for a program-record third straight year. After defeating Quinnipiac in NCAA play, Leaman and the Friars advanced to the NCAA East Regional final where they fell to eventual national champion Union, 3-1. Leaman became the 16th NCAA Div. I men's hockey head coach to lead two different teams to the NCAA Tournament.
The Friars finished the season ranked in the top-12 for 24 consecutive weeks in the USCHO.com/USA Today national polls and spent much of the 2013-14 season ranked in the top-10, reaching as high as No. 3. Prior to the 2013-14, the Friars had last reached the top-10 in February, 2006 and they had last reached the top-five in the national rankings on Oct. 1, 2001.
Led by junior Ross Mauermann, the Friar offense scored 115 goals in 2013-14, the most since the 2002-03 season. Mauermann scored 19 goals and added 17 assists for 36 points to become the highest scoring Friar since the 2003-04 season when three players topped the 36-point plateau. Mauermann, who has led the Friars in scoring in each of Leaman's first three seasons, was also named the Hockey East's Co-Defensive Forward of the Year in addition to being named the League's Len Ceglarski Individual Sportsmanship Award winner.
Sophomore goaltender Jon Gillies set the Providence record for career shutouts (9), surpassing the seven career shutouts that Tyler Sims `08 posted from 2004-08. Gillies also holds the career record for goals-against average (2.12) and he became the second Friar to take part in multiple World Junior Championships after he started for Team USA at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden and won gold with Team USA at the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia. Gillies also finished the 2013-14 season with the nation's fourth-best save percentage (.931).
Other 2013-14 highlights included the program's first six-game winning streak since 2005-06 and a regular-season-ending sweep at Maine, which marked Providence's first sweep at Maine since 2007. That sweep put the Friars in position to host a Hockey East Quarterfinal series for a second consecutive season. The Friar penalty kill ended the season ranked third-best in the country with an 87.2 success rate, while the team defense's 2.26 goals-against per game ranked seventh nationally.
Leaman's teams have been very involved in the Providence College community and beyond. In 2012, the Friars added Kevin Rich to their squad as part of Team IMPACT, which is a non-profit chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. Rich has remained involved with team activities throughout the past two seasons. In the past year alone, the Friars also have taken part in Rhode Island's Reading Week, hosted a holiday pasta dinner at Schneider Arena for season ticket holders that was served by the players and helped construct a playground at a local school. Leaman received the Reverend John McMahon Award from the Providence College Student Congress in April of 2013. Recognizing members of the PC community for outstanding dedication and service to the student body, the Reverend John McMahon Award is the highest honor that Student Congress awards.
In 2012-13, Leaman led the Friars to a 17-14-7 overall record and a 13-8-6 mark in Hockey East play. It marked the most wins for a Friar squad since the 2005-06 season. The 13 Hockey East wins tied for the third-most in program history. The Friars entered the last weekend of the regular season in contention for the league title for the first time ever and went on to win a home quarterfinal Hockey East playoff series for the first time since 2001. The Friars then made a second consecutive Hockey East semifinal appearance, marking the first time in 17 seasons that Providence made back-to-back Hockey East semifinals appearances.
In 2012-13, Leaman coached Providence College's first All-American since 2004, then freshman goaltender Jon Gillies, who was named a Second Team All-American. Gillies was also named the Hockey Commissioner's Association (HCA) National Rookie of the Year, a First Team Hockey East All-Star and the Hockey East Rookie of the Year. He was just the third freshman all-time to earn First Team Hockey East honors. In addition, senior Kyle Murphy was named the 2013 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award Winner by the HCA, Tim Schaller became just the second Friar to earn Hockey East Defensive Forward of the Year honors and six Friars were named to the 2013 Hockey East All-Academic Team.
During the 2012-13 season, the Friars reached as high as 16th in the USCHO.com poll. Providence was then ranked 18th in the season-ending USCHO.com poll, marking the first time since 2001 the Friars were ranked in the year-end USCO.com poll. The Friars were able to move into the polls on the strength of several marquee wins, including their first win at New Hampshire since 2004 and their first win at Boston College in 18 tries.
In his first season at Providence (2011-12), Leaman led the Friars to the Hockey East Semifinals for the first time since 2001. Providence defeated No. 2 seed UMass Lowell in a best-of-three quarterfinal series to become the first No. 7 seed to ever win a Hockey East Quarterfinal series.
Leaman, who was appointed the 12th coach at Providence on April 22, 2011, guided Providence to 14 victories during the 2011-12 season. Among those wins was a two-game, weekend sweep of then No. 1 nationally ranked Merrimack on December 3-4. The 2-1 overtime triumph on Dec. 2 was PC's first over a No. 1 team since 2003. After their successful weekend against Merrimack, the Friars were ranked in the USCHO.com national poll for the first time since 2008. In all, Providence recorded seven wins against nationally ranked teams, including five victories against squads in the top-10. In addition, Leaman coached Ross Mauermann, who was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. Mauermann became the first Friar to earn the honor since 2007.
During his tenure as head coach at Providence College and Union College, Leaman coached 110 All-Conference Academic selections, 15 All-Conference selections, eight All-Conference Rookie Team honorees, three ECAC Student-Athletes of the Year and two CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Honorees. In his career behind the bench, Leaman has coached 22 NHL draft picks, six All-Americans and one Hobey Baker finalist.
Prior to Providence, Leaman spent eight seasons as the head coach at Union College. Leaman's 2010-11 Union squad posted an impressive 26-10-4 overall record, including a 17-3-2 mark in the ECAC. The team captured the College's first Cleary Cup (ECAC regular season champion) and earned its first NCAA Division I Tournament berth. Union's season came to end when it was defeated by eventual national champion Minnesota-Duluth, 2-0, in the 2011 NCAA East Regional Semifinal. The Dutchmen went 14-1-1 in their final 16 regular season games to clinch the league title. Union had the top power play in the nation as it posted a 29.5 percent success rate. In addition, the team allowed just 2.10 goals per game, which ranked second in the nation. The Dutchmen also were ranked nationally for the entire season and were as high as fourth. For his efforts, Leaman received the 2011 Spencer Penrose Award as the Division I Men's Coach of the Year and he also was named ECAC Coach of the Year for the second straight season.
In eight seasons at Union, Leaman's teams posted a 138-127-35 mark and Leaman became the first Union Head Coach to leave with a winning record (since the program moved to Div. I). His 138 wins are the most of any of the 14 head coaches in school history. Leaman guided Union to four consecutive winning seasons. In 2009-10, the team posted a 21-12-6 record, finished third place in the ECAC regular season and was the ECAC Tournament runner up.
The 2007-08 season began a stretch of four consecutive winning seasons for the Union program under Leaman. That team posted a 16-15-4 overall record and placed fourth in the ECAC, which at the time was the program's highest finish. In 2008-09, the team finished the season at 19-17-3 overall and it marked the first back-to-back winning campaigns in program history. That success carried over to the 2009-10 season as Leaman's squad was ranked in the top-20 nationally for 14 consecutive weeks.
Leaman also served as an assistant coach with USA Hockey for the US World Junior Team in 2007 and 2009. In 2007, he helped lead the team to a Bronze Medal in Leksand, Sweden.
Prior to taking the Union position, Leaman spent four seasons as an assistant coach for Mark Mazzoleni at Harvard, where he was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator during his final season. Leaman helped rebuild the Harvard program into one of the top teams in the ECAC, taking the squad from eighth place in the league to an ECAC tournament championship and NCAA appearance in 2001-2002, and an ECAC runner-up finish and NCAA appearance in 2002-2003. During his four years on the Harvard coaching staff, Leaman had a hand in recruiting 13 NHL draft picks and helped the program to be consistently ranked near the top of college hockey in the number of players with NHL rights.
Prior to joining the staff in Cambridge, Leaman served as a volunteer assistant coach under Shawn Walsh at the University of Maine in 1998-99. In helping guide Maine to a 31-6-4 record and the 1999 NCAA Championship, Leaman's responsibilities included working with the Black Bears' defense, video analysis, on-campus recruiting and monitoring of the players' academic progress. While in Orono, Leaman earned a Master of Science degree in biological sciences in 1999.
Before joining the staff at Maine, Leaman served as associate coach for one season at Old Town High School in Old Town, Maine, where he was responsible for the design and implementation of team practices and bench management during games.
Leaman is a 1997 graduate of SUNY Cortland, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences with a concentration in environmental science and received the Aldo Leopold Award for excellence in environmental science. Captain of the hockey team as a junior and senior, Leaman finished his career as one of the top-20 scorers in Red Dragons' history. He was inducted into the Red Dragons' Hall of Fame in September, 2014.
Prior to attending Cortland, Leaman spent a season with the Enkoping Sports Klubb in Enkoping, Sweden, and also played one year with the Indianapolis Junior Ice in the North American Junior Hockey League.
A native of Centerville, Ohio, Leaman and his wife, Alice, have three young sons, Ty, Bryce and Nolan.