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From RMUColonials.comHead coach Nate Handrahan enters his second season as leader of the Robert Morris University women’s ice hockey team.
Taking control of the helm in 2006-07, Handrahan devised a complete turnaround of the program from its inaugural season in 2005-06. The new Colonials took the community by storm, as the team reinvented many aspects of its game as proved evidenced by their overall record, statistics and their players.
Handrahan’s guidance and leadership took the team to new heights in its second season of intercollegiate play. The squad more than doubled its 2005-06 record by finishing the season with an 11-22-2 mark, compared to the first season’s 5-24-2 record. The revived offense under Handrahan exploded on the ice, scoring a combined 205 points, an improvement by more than 116 points. The defense proved strong in shutting down opponents, allowing 116 goals compared to the previous years 131.
The former Niagara stand out’s tutelage of his players was the most evident as the team grew as a whole throughout the season. Several players came to achieve at exceptional levels including the emergence of goaltender Brianne McLaughlin, who developed into one of the premier net-minders in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.
Before taking over the women’s ice hockey program, Handrahan, under head coach Derek Schooley, served as an assistant coach with the RMU men’s ice hockey team. In his duties, he assisted in the day-to-day operations of the team as well instructing on and off the ice. In his two years with the team, Handrahan helped the program to an 8-21-4 mark in its inaugural season and a 12-20-3 record in its second season.
A 2000 graduate of Niagara University, Handrahan returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach in 2001 under Dave Burkholder. Handrahan’s duties included off-ice training, scouting, game film review, and coaching the team’s defensemen. Niagara earned an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2004 after winning the College Hockey America Tournament, marking Handrahan’s second trip to the NCAA postseason.
During his collegiate career, Handrahan played in every game for the Niagara Purple Eagles over four years, leading them to a No. 6 seed in the 2000 NCAA Tournament. The former defenseman, who played under current UMass-Lowell head coach Blaise MacDonald, was a two-time All-ECAC West selection and holds the Niagara record for most consecutive games played (129). Handrahan earned the team’s “PAW” award in 1997-98 and the “Unsung Hero Award” in the Purple Eagles playoff season of 1999-2000. He finished his career with 13 goals and 66 assists for 79 points.
Handrahan and his wife, Nicole, have two daughters, Haylee and Mara and are expecting a third in February. He and his family reside in Aliquippa, Pa.
The Handrahan File
Alma Mater / Year: Niagara ‘00
Robert Morris University
Roanoke Express (USHL), 1999-01
Niagara University (CHA), 1996-2000
-Two-time All-ECAC West
-NCAA Playoff Participant (2000)
-Unsung Hero Award (2000)
-PAW Award (1998)
-Record Holder for Consecutive Games (129)