R.J. Tolan
R.J. Tolan
Title: Head Men's Ice Hockey Coach
Phone: (617) 989-4149
Email: tolanr@wit.edu
Previous College: UMass Lowell '02

Entering his ninth season as the Head Ice Hockey Coach at Wentworth Institute of Technology, R.J. Tolan has guided the Leopards to an impressive 128-74-14 (.624) record over his first eight campaigns while continuing to be a perennial contender within the ECAC Northeast and competing at a national level.

Coming off a second straight conference championship, the 2013-2014 edition of the Leopards started the season out on an up and down note, ending the first semester with a 4-7-1 record. Three straight losses to start the second semester put the Leopards at 4-10-1, however were 2-0 in league play with the remainder of the league schedule to be played. After a tie to Assumption, which saw the Leopards get the equalizer on an extra-attacker marker, the Black & Gold rolled off five straight wins and would eventually finish the regular season at 11-12-2 overall and 9-5 in ECAC Northeast play, which was good for the number two seed. Wentworth defeated Johnson & Wales, 4-0, in the semifinals of the league tournament and headed to its fourth straight conference final before dropping a 3-2, overtime decision to Nichols in the finals.

After serving as an assistant coach for the Leopards during the 2005-06 season, he was named the program’s fifth hockey coach in May of 2006 and in his first season directed Wentworth to a 16-9-3 record and a berth in the ECAC Northeast title game, where his squad was defeated by UMass Dartmouth, 4-3.

The 2007-08 edition of the Leopards played a demanding non-league schedule, which attributed to an 11-14-1 record, but were 10-5-1 in conference play. Wentworth was upset by Suffolk, 3-2, in overtime, in the ECAC Northeast Quarterfinals but bounced back the following season to finish 18-8-1 and reach the ECAC Northeast title game for the second time in three seasons. The Black & Gold were edged by Nichols, 4-3, in the title game.

Wentworth cracked the 20-win plateau for the first time in seven seasons during the 2009-10 campaign, finishing 20-5-1, and earning the top seed in the ECAC Tournament. After a wild, 10-7 win over Salve Regina in the quarterfinals, the Leopards saw their season come to a close with a 5-3 loss to Johnson & Wales in the semifinals. In addition to being nationally ranked for most of the season half of the season, Wentworth led all of Division III in power-play efficiency with a percentage of .326.

While the final record of the 2010-11 team was 14-9-4, five of the nine losses were by a single goal, including dropping a heartbreaking, 2-1, overtime decision at Curry in Wentworth’s third ECAC Northeast finals appearance in Tolan’s first five seasons behind the bench. Prior to reaching the championship game, the Leopards defeated Johnson & Wales, 4-3, in overtime in the semifinals in a game that saw the Wildcats erase a 3-1 deficit and score the game-tying goal with 3:42 left in regulation.

The 2011-12 season saw the Leopards finish 21-7-1, finish first in the ECAC Northeast for the second time in three seasons, and capture the program’s first ECAC Northeast Championship since 2004 with a 1-0, overtime win over Curry. Tolan guided Wentworth to the Institute’s first-ever win in the NCAA Tournament when the Black & Gold won at Plymouth State, 3-1, before bowing out to top-ranked Norwich, 3-0, in the quarterfinal round, snapping a school record 10-game win streak. The win over Plymouth was not only a milestone for the school, but a personal one for Tolan as it was his 100th career triumph.

During the 2012-13 season Wentworth put together a 7-1-2 late-season run to secure the ECAC Northeast Regular Season Championship and an unbeaten streak of eight (6-0-2) included the program’s second straight conference championship, a 3-1 triumph over Salve Regina in the finals. After winning the program’s sixth conference championship, Wentworth earned its sixth berth in the NCAA Tournament, where the Leopards fell to Babson.

Tolan’s 128 wins rank him first on the program’s all-time list and he has amassed an impressive 87-25-8 (.758) record in ECAC Northeast games, while posting a 13-6 record in the ECAC Northeast Tournament. Five of his six league tournament losses have been by a single goal, with three coming in overtime. In his first eight seasons he has coached 32 ECAC Northeast All-Conference players, including Skylur Jameson ’12, who was the league’s rookie of the year in 2009 and player of the year in 2010, and Shaun Jameson ’13 who was named the program’s second All-America in his senior campaign. Tolan himself has three time been honored by the league as its coach of the year (2007, 2012, 2014).

Prior to arriving at Wentworth in the fall of 2005, Tolan coached collegiately as an assistant at Northeastern (2004-05) and Bentley (2003-04) and served as an assistant coach with the Boston Bulldogs Junior Hockey Club during the 2002-03 season.

Tolan played in 56 career games at UMass Lowell under head coaches Tim Whitehead (1998-2001) and Blaise MacDonald (2001-02).  During his junior season, he scored three points (two goals, one assist) in 31 games. A neck injury limited his playing time to 14 games as a senior, a season in which the River Hawks finished 22-13-3 and advanced to the semifinals of the HOCKEY EAST Tournament.  He graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

A native of Waltham, Mass., Tolan, who also serves as an Athletic Coordinator in the department, resides with his wife and daughter in Beverly, Mass.

Tolan's Tally

Year

School

W

L

T

PCT

 

2006-2007

Wentworth

16

9

3

.625

ECAC Northeast Finalist; ECAC Northeast Co-Coach of the Year;
NEHWA Coach of the Year 

2007-2008

Wentworth

11

14

1

.442

ECAC Northeast Tournament

2008-2009

Wentworth

18

8

1

.685

ECAC Northeast Finalist

2009-2010

Wentworth

20

5

1

.788

ECAC Northeast Regular Season Champions; ECAC Northeast Tournament

2010-2011

Wentworth

14

9

4

.593

ECAC Northeast Finalist

2011-2012

Wentworth

21

7

1

.741

ECAC Northeast Regular Season Champions; ECAC Northeast Champions; NCAA Tournament (Quarterfinals); ECAC Northeast Coach of the Year

2012-2013

Wentworth

16

9

3

.625

ECAC Northeast Regular Season Champions; ECAC Northeast Champions; NCAA Tournament (First Round)

2013-2014 Wentworth 12 13 2 .481 ECAC Northeast Finalist; ECAC Northeast Coach of the Year

 

Career Totals

128

74

16

.624

(Eight Seasons)