Contact: Justin Long
AMHERST, Mass. – After leading the Amherst College women's ice hockey team for the past nine years, Jim Plumer has accepted the head coaching position at University of Vermont.
Plumer will leave Amherst with two national championships and a 158-69-19 record, including a dominant 127-30-14 (.784) mark in the past six years. He was introduced to the University of Vermont community earlier today in a press conference and will officially begin his tenure with the Catamounts on May 15.
"Leaving Amherst is as difficult a career choice as a coach will ever have," says Plumer. "I want to thank my colleagues and the entire Amherst community for their support and friendship. The experience of growing this program has changed me in ways I can't even begin to count or express. I know I am a better person for having had this incredible experience over the past nine years."
"I am proud of the way in which Jim has taken our women's hockey program to an elite status at the national level," says Amherst Athletic Director Suzanne Coffey. "He has created a culture that invites high performing hockey players who are also outstanding students. His record of accomplishment speaks for itself."
Plumer will join a program that is coming off a 4-22-6 season and has not posted a winning record since 2001, but he was faced with a similar situation when he came to Amherst in 2003. One year after the Lord Jeffs finished at 3-17-4, Plumer led the program to its first winning season and highest win total (13-12) as the fifth seed in the 2004 NESCAC Championship.
The bar has been raised considerably during the past nine years, as Amherst has become a national powerhouse in women's ice hockey. Plumer led the Lord Jeffs to three NESCAC titles, five 20-win seasons and five NCAA Tournament appearances, notably becoming the first coach in school history to win multiple national championships (2009, 2010).
Plumer was named the AHCA National Coach of the Year for leading the Lord Jeffs to the 2009 NCAA crown. During their title run the Jeffs defeated two-time defending champion Plattsburgh State in the opening round, three-time national champion Middlebury in the semifinals, and two-time champ Elmira in the title game. Regular season highlights included a 16-0 record in NESCAC play, the program's first-ever No. 1 seed in the conference tournament and a No. 1 ranking in the USCHO national poll.
The 2009-10 season was equally impressive, as the Lord Jeffs extended their unbeaten streak in regular season NESCAC play to as many as 53 games (45-0-8), a dominant stretch that began in 2006. Amherst used Division III's top scoring defense (1.17 gpg) to post a 23-2-4 record (12-1-3 NESCAC), win a third conference title in four years, and out-score opponents by an 11-2 margin in the NCAA Tournament.
"I want to thank all of my former players and staff who made the Amherst program what it is today," adds Plumer. "I've been fortunate to work with passionate and committed student-athletes who were willing to take risks, and getting to share in their tremendous achievements has been a gift and a life-changing experience for all of us. I'm confident that as we have always done, we will continue to work hard and enjoy the journey."
"Jim has been a truly valued colleague," says Coffey. "He is the consummate student of coaching philosophy and strategy. While we will miss him on a day-to-day basis, he'll always be a part of the Amherst Athletics family."