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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Dave Smith Appointed Men's Hockey Head Coach

From the President's Desk

To: The Rensselaer Community
Re: Dave Smith Appointed Men's Hockey Head Coach

I am pleased to announce that after an extensive national search and input from the campus and alumni communities, we have named Dave Smith as head coach of the Division 1 Engineers men's ice hockey program.

Coach Smith has led the Canisius College men’s ice hockey team for 12 seasons. At Canisius, Mr. Smith built the Men’s Ice Hockey program to a number 25 ranking among Division I NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey teams. He guided Canisius to a 21-11-7 record this season and was named the Atlantic Hockey Coach of the Year after winning the program’s first regular-season title. He led the Golden Griffins to three straight trips to Atlantic Hockey Championship weekend for the first time in school history, including consecutive appearances in the title game and the team’s first crown in 2013. The program has also received national attention for its graduates having unprecedented success at the professional level.

During the 2012-13 campaign, Coach Smith guided Canisius to the program’s first conference title with a 7-2 victory in the Atlantic Hockey Championship against Mercyhurst and the team’s first appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament. The Griffs also finished the campaign ranked 19th in the final national poll, marking the program’s highest finish in the national rankings.

Coach Smith has guided numerous student-athletes to success both on and off the ice, including a total of 33 team members who have signed professional contracts after playing under him at Canisius, and two who signed NHL deals. Canisius student-athletes were consistently ranked among the best in the country under Coach Smith’s leadership.

He was named Canisius’ head coach on April 15, 2005, after serving the previous three seasons as the associate coach and recruiting coordinator at Mercyhurst College. He also spent time as an assistant coach with Bowling Green and Miami University in Ohio.

A native of Arthur, Ontario, Coach Smith was also instrumental in guiding Mercyhurst to two league championships and two NCAA Division I Tournament appearances in his three seasons with the Lakers.

He graduated from The Ohio State University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/public relations and was a four-year letter-winner for the Buckeyes. Smith finished his career at Ohio State with 140 points, ranking 14th all-time. He was selected as team captain as a junior and chosen as the team’s MVP as a senior, while leading the Buckeyes with 41 assists and 63 points.

After graduating from Ohio State, Coach Smith spent six seasons in professional hockey, including five full seasons in the American Hockey League and the International Hockey League and a year in the East Coast Hockey League. He was under contract with the New York Rangers in 1994-95. Smith has spent his summers coaching young players and adults as a director and head instructor at numerous camps across the United States and Canada.

In addition to his responsibilities at Canisius, Coach Smith serves on the board of directors at College Hockey Inc.

I am confident that Coach Smith will continue the proud tradition of Rensselaer men’s hockey and add to our prominence as a leading program. He has a thorough understanding of the importance of the education that our young people are here to acquire, and the importance of developing the mind, body, and spirit. I am looking forward to seeing his success with our team.  

Coach Smith and his wife, Dr. Susan Smith, a faculty member at the University of Buffalo, have two daughters, Ellis and Kylie. Please join me in welcoming Coach Smith and his family to Rensselaer.