Kevin Sneddon enters his 10th season as the head coach at the University of Vermont in the 2012-13 season, and his 20th year in the coaching profession. He needs just 14 wins to reach 150 in his time at Vermont and 200 as a Division I head coach. Eight of Sneddon's players have signed NHL contracts during his tenure, and all eight have signed in the last six years.
Under his leadership, the Catamounts have become one of the premier programs in college hockey. Vermont posted its sixth straight winning season in 2009-10 for the first time since moving to the Division I level in 1974-75. The Catamounts won five in-season tournaments and compiled 113 victories in that six-year span, an average of nearly 19 wins per season.
This past season in 2011-12, Sneddon's recent recruiting classes played a significant role on a young team as seven of the squad's top nine scorers were underclassmen. Sneddon helped Kyle Reynolds become just the third Catamount to earn a spot on the Hockey East All-Rookie Team, as he was honored at the league's postseason awards banquet. Reynolds finished the regular season ranked among the top-30 rookie scorers in the nation with 23 points on 10 goals and 13 assists.
In December, Sneddon's 2010 recruit Connor Brickley was selected to the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team and competed at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship in Alberta, Canada. He became the eighth Catamount to represent Team USA and the first in 20 years. Brickley is the second highest draft choice for the Catamounts in program history behind only U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer John LeClair, who was selected 33rd overall in the 1987 draft by the Montreal Canadiens.
Sneddon led the Catamounts to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008-09 and 2009-10, and took UVM to its second Frozen Four in school history in 2008-09. The Catamounts attained their highest-ever final ranking in 2008-09, finishing third in the USCHO.com/CBS College Sports Poll with a 22-12-5 record. Sneddon was named a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award, given annually to the top Division I coach in the country.
In 2009-10, Vermont upset Hockey East regular season champion New Hampshire in the league quarterfinals to advance to the TD Garden in Boston for the Hockey East Championships. For the first time in program history, Vermont earned a spot in the Hockey East Championships and NCAA Tournament in the same year. UVM also won the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup.
In 2007-08, Sneddon was named the Bob Cullen Hockey East Coach of the Year and was a finalist for National Coach of the Year after leading the Catamounts to a 17-15-7 record and their first-ever trip to the Hockey East Championship Game in Boston. The Catamounts defeated Northeastern in the quarterfinals before upsetting national power Boston University in the semifinals.
Sneddon guided Vermont to a 18-16-5 record and a championship in the prestigious Ice Breaker Invitational in 2006-07. The Catamounts finished second in the country in scoring defense with a 2.00 goals against average and they ranked third nationally on the penalty kill at 88.8-percent.
In 2005-06, the Catamounts posted a 18-14-6 record in their first year in Hockey East. Vermont established the best start to a season in school history by winning its first seven contests. The Catamounts went on to claim tournament titles in both the Nye Frontier Classic and Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup.
During the month of December that season, Vermont was ranked as high as third in the country in both national polls, giving the Catamounts their highest ranking in a decade. Vermont finished third in the nation in goals against average at 2.16 and won the Sportsmanship Award in Hockey East for the least amount of penalty minutes in conference play. In addition, captain Jaime Sifers '06 was one of seven finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, given annually to college hockey's finest citizen.
During the 2004-05 season, Sneddon led the Catamounts to their first 20-win season in eight years with a 21-14-4 overall mark, including 13 wins in ECAC play. Vermont was picked to finish 10th in the ECAC Preseason Coaches' Poll that year. Instead, the Catamounts finished fourth in the ECAC and were ranked as high as 10th in USCHO.com/CSTV Poll.
Vermont advanced to the ECAC Championships in Albany, N.Y., for the first time since 1996 after defeating Dartmouth in the ECAC Quarterfinals. The Cats were the most improved team in the country, by winning 12 more games than it did the previous season. Vermont defeated the No. 1 ranked team in the country for the first time in school history with a 3-2 victory at Minnesota-Duluth in October.
A 1992 graduate of Harvard University, Sneddon is just the third coach in the last 48 years at Vermont. He succeeded Mike Gilligan, who stepped down in April of 2003 after 19 years behind the Catamount bench. The head coach at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. from 1998 to 2003, Sneddon was associated with the Union men's hockey program since 1993 when he was named an assistant under former head coach Bruce Delventhal.
He was named head coach in the summer of 1998, and in 2002-03 Sneddon led the Dutchmen to their first-ever ECAC home-ice playoff series. Union qualified for the ECAC playoffs in three of Sneddon's last four years with the Dutchmen. His career record at Union was 50-99-18 in five seasons.
Sneddon's first recruiting class at Vermont produced the ECAC Rookie of the Year in goalie Joe Fallon and ECAC All-Rookie Team member in forward Torrey Mitchell.
Fallon, a sixth round pick in the 2005 NHL draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, finished his career ranked first or second in every major goaltending category at UVM. His 20 career shutouts rank second all-time in NCAA history and his 2.05 career goals against average is 11th best all-time in Division I. Fallon holds a total of 11 career, single-season, and freshman records at Vermont. Fallon signed a NHL contract with Chicago in April of 2008.
Mitchell, a San Jose Sharks 2004 NHL draft choice, completed his career with 35 goals and 70 assists for 105 points. He signed a NHL contract with San Jose in March of 2007 and was one of the NHL's top rookies in 2007-08. Mitchell has played nearly 300 career games in the NHL with San Jose.
In 2008-09, Viktor Stålberg became the fourth Catamount in program history to be named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top college hockey player in the country. Stålberg was also named a First Team NCAA All-American and signed a NHL contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs in April of 2009. He was the first UVM player to receive Hockey East First Team All-Star honors and ranked top-15 nationally in scoring with 46 points in his final season.
The following year, Brayden Irwin became the sixth Catamount that has played for Sneddon in as many years to sign a NHL contract. Irwin also signed a two-year deal with the Maple Leafs in March of 2010 and spent the 2010-11 season with the AHL's Toronto Marlies. Irwin became the first Catamount to be named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team in 2007 after netting 10 goals as a rookie.
Defenseman Kyle Medvec, who graduated after the 2010-11 season, was a fourth round pick of the Minnesota Wild in 2006 and signed an entry level contract in July of 2011. Medvec was a sophomore on Vermont's 2008-09 Frozen Four team under Sneddon. Kevan Miller, a two-year captain of the Catamounts, signed a NHL entry level contract with the Boston Bruins in October, 2011.
After the 2011-12 season, Viktor Stålberg's brother Sebastian was signed to a two-year NHL contract by the San Jose Sharks and joined the team's AHL affiliate in Worcester, Mass. Stålberg marked the eighth Catamount under Sneddon to sign a National Hockey League contract in the last six years. Stålberg posted 17 multi-point games in his final two seasons at UVM and ranked second in Hockey East in power play scoring last season.
Four current Sneddon recruits are former NHL Draft selections: Senior Brett Bruneteau (2007, Fourth Round, Washington Capitals), junior Connor Brickley (2010, Second Round, Florida Panthers), and sophomores Michael Paliotta (2011, Third Round, Chicago Blackhawks) and Nick Luukko (2010, Sixth Round, Philadelphia Flyers).
Off the ice, Sneddon works hard to develop his student-athletes. Whether its helping his players to achieve goals in the classroom or teaching them important values away from hockey, he takes pride in preparing his players for "life's greater challenges." Sneddon served as the Executive Vice President for the Jarred Williams Foundation and was involved with the organization for nearly a decade.
The Catamounts participate in several community service events each year. Those projects include volunteering at the local Ronald McDonald House, visiting children at Fletcher Allen Health Care and residents in local nursing homes, the Coach Sneddon Summer Cruise to benefit the Jarred Williams Foundation, the Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball Tournament, Green Up Day, and volunteering for the Burlington Amateur Hockey Association, and Movember.
Sneddon has been very involved at the conference and national level in the sport of hockey. He served on the ECAC Executive Coaches Committee and the ECAC Strategic Planning Committee from 2001-03 and was Vice President of Convention Planning for the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) from 2003-06. Five years ago, proceeds from Vermont's "Midnight Madness" went to Hockey Coaches Care, the official charitable organization of the AHCA. He also is a member of the Executive Board for the Hockey Humanitarian Foundation.
In the collegiate ranks, he was a four-year starter at Harvard University where he helped the Crimson win the NCAA Championship in 1988-89. That season, he was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team, the NCAA All-Tournament Team, and was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL Draft. During his four years at Harvard, he was the 96th captain of the Harvard men's hockey team, and participated in the World Junior Camp and the Albany World Cup.
Sneddon suffered two season-ending injuries, and operations on his shoulder and back limited his playing time in each of his last two seasons. Before beginning his coaching career, Sneddon had a brief stint with Kings in the NHL. Back surgery cut short his career and he made the decision to become a coach shortly thereafter.
Born and raised in Burlington, Ontario, Sneddon attended Nelson High School before attending Harvard. His father, Robert, played professional hockey for the Chicago Blackhawks and the California Golden Seals. He spent much of his career playing in the AHL and IHL minor leagues.
Sneddon, his wife Toni, and daughter Gabrielle live in South Burlington.
Terry Lovelette rejoins the Vermont coaching staff for his 18th season in 2011-12, serving as a volunteer goaltending coach.
During his time at Vermont, Lovelette has worked closely with the Catamount goaltenders, including Tim Thomas '97 of the Boston Bruins, who won the 2009 Vezina Trophy, given annually to the top goalie in the National Hockey League. Lovelette has developed several goaltenders that have experienced success at various levels of professional hockey, including the NHL, AHL, ECHL, and in Europe.
A native of St. Albans, Vt., and a former goalie at Bellows Free Academy High School, Lovelette played hockey at BFA under Bill Beaney, now the hockey coach at Middlebury College. In 1986, Lovelette returned to his alma mater as a coach, assisting Dennis "Red" Gendron (now with Massachusetts) for the first three years and serving under former Catamount standout Toby Ducolon '88 for the next three years.
Since graduating from high school in 1976, he has spent the last 30 plus years working for IBM in Essex Junction, Vt., and stayed involved in the game of hockey. Lovelette can frequently be found volunteering his time at local youth hockey practices, and he spent 10 years as the USA Hockey Coaching Director for Vermont and was a member of the Vermont State Amateur Hockey Association Executive Board. He has also worked at the Vermont Player Development Program, USA Hockey's New England Development Camp, and USA Hockey's National Goaltending Camp. Lovelette is also the Co-Director of the very successful Vermont Goaltenders Academy.
Lovelette lives in St. Albans, Vt. He has three children: Molly, Adam and Shaun.