Maine Hockey Journal

Dumont named Bowdoin head coach

When Jamie Dumont returned to Bowdoin College to take the assistant coach’s position for the 2011-12 season, he wanted to take on a bigger role behind the scenes.

On Wednesday, he was handed the keys to the program when he was named the successor to Terry Meagher as the new men’s hockey head coach for the Bowdoin College Polar Bears.

He becomes the ninth head coach in school history, and only the third head coach since 1959.

“When I came back from Europe, the opportunity arose that Terry was looking for an assistant, I had a couple of opportunities at prep schools to take a head (coaching) job over,” Jamie Dumont said. “I said to myself and met with Terry this opportunity. I am proven I can be an assistant coach. We have done a great job. I am about learning and getting better. I said to Terry I really want to get better at my administrative skills. That means taking over all the administrative duties behind the scenes, the budget work, the scheduling, the lodging, the logistics and so forth.”

Meagher won 543 games with the Polar Bears, which is ranked sixth among Division III coaches, two NESCAC Championships, and two ECAC Championships.

Dumont’s first stint as an assistant coach came from 2001-2005 after starting his coaching career at his alma mater Oswego State in 1998. He moved to Division I Bowling Green University as an assistant coach for the 2005-06 season.

“We are thrilled to announce the hiring of Jamie Dumont as our head coach of men’s hockey,” Bowdoin’s Director of Athletics Tim Ryan said in a news release. “Jamie has been a critical member of our hockey program during both his tenures as an assistant coach at Bowdoin and his wealth of experience coaching collegiate hockey and professional hockey overseas will be of considerable benefit to our program.”

After taking a season off from coaching in 2006, he moved to HC Bolzano for two seasons where he had a stint as interim coach in 2007 where they won back-to-back league championships.

The Lewiston native returned to the United States to be an assistant with the Lewiston Maineiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2008. He only lasted half a season as head coach Don MacAdam and himself were let go.

He went back to Europe in for the 2010-11 season with Ruijters Eaters Geleen in the Netherlands to be the head coach.

“The experience I got in Europe was great, and I had an opportunity to work with some real high caliber players, guys that played a little bit in the NHL and the American Hockey League,” Dumont said. “Working with elite players, you get to learn how things work a little differently, how you run your practices, how you manage your benches. Certainly working over there in a head coach capacity certainly helped me big time to come back here and work at (Bowdoin).”

Some of the players he worked with include Ryan Jardine, who played eight games with the Florida Panthers in 2001-02 and spent a few years with their AHL affiliate the San Antonio Rampage. Chris Hajt, who had a cup of coffee in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals, played three years with the Portland Pirates from 2002-04. Dumont also coached former Maine Black Bear John Rohan.

Dumont said he believes the transition from Meagher to himself should go smoothly, but at the end of the day, it’s a new voice leading the ship.

With the Meagher retiring, Dumont was upfront with recruits this winter.

“The way this program has been run, every year, every day, every minute, it’s all about honesty and transparency,” Dumont said. “Every recruit we brought on campus, the one-on-one conversations with the parent and player, Terry certainly disclosed he was retiring, and there would be a new coach in place. Certainly they knew I would be throwing my name in the ring and going after it. The big thing is when they look at a place like Bowdoin, you have to look at the big picture. You had to trust Bowdoin would put the right guy in there. The big thing we told recruits, listen you will be in good shape, you will get a great education, and you will have a good hockey experience.”

Dumont said they have one of the better-recruiting classes coming in.

Dumont is the third coach for the Bowdoin men’s hockey team since 1959 when Sid Watson was the coach. He held the position until 1983 when Terry Meagher took over.

“It’s a tremendous honor, it’s an honor I have so much gratitude because I knew Sid Watson very well,” Dumont said. “Certainly working under Terry’s wing for all these years, I am very fortunate to say I (was) working for a true legend. A mentor, but also my best friend. I (didn’t) consider him a boss, he was always a great friend and taught me so much. To take this thing over, it’s a complete privilege that I wouldn’t let those guys down that built the culture and tradition here for sure.”

Dumont said he already received numerous applications for the assistant coaching position and will start going through those at the end of the week.

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