Union College hockey coach Rick Bennett would hate to lose assistant coach Joe Dumais. But Bennett won’t stand in Dumais’ way should he get a chance to run his own program.
Dumais is one of five finalists for the Princeton head coaching job. College Hockey News first reported that Dumais, Adrian College head coach and former Colgate player Ron Fogarty, Penn State assistant coach Keith Fisher, Quinnipiac and former Union assistant Bill Riga and former Colorado College head coach Scott Owens are in the running for the position, which became open after Bob Prier resigned in late April.
Former Princeton player Darren Yopyk, who was considered a leading candidate for the position, pulled out of the running because of a visa issue. Yopyk, who played at Princeton from 1996-2000, is Canadian. There was a visa issue three years ago with Yopyk when the job was open, and Prier was hired.
“It all depends what the athletic director and [search] committee wants,” Bennett said. “If they want a guy that knows ECAC Hockey, then Joe stands an excellent chance. I think he will be an excellent head coach.”
Dumais, through a Union spokesman, has repeatedly declined comment about the Princeton job. A Princeton spokesperson also declined comment.
Dumais, who has been an assistant with the Dutchmen for three years, served as acting head coach during Bennett’s four-game suspension for his role in the Mayor’s Cup postgame brawl against RPI. Union went 3-1 under Dumais’ guidance.
“What he did here in his four games, along with [assistant coach] Jason Tapp, I thought he did a tremendous job,” Bennett said. “If you ask any of our players, I think they would tell you the same thing. His strong suits are he’s excellent at X’s and O’s. He has a pulse of the team, just putting lines together as well as a good game feel. It would be a huge loss for our program to lose him, but at the same token, it would be Princeton’s gain for sure.”
Dumais joined the Union staff in 2011 after serving as an assistant coach at Connecticut for four seasons. He played at Quinnipiac from 2002 to 2006.