UMass Amherst men's hockey head coach Don "Toot" Cahoon stepped down Tuesday in a "mutual" agreement with the school's Athletic Director.
"Through the course of our recent conversations, coach Cahoon and I mutually agreed that it would be in the program's best interest for him to take this action at this time," said UMass Amherst AD John McCutcheon in an early Tuesday afternoon statement.
Cahoon, the Boston University alumnus who had led the Minuteman program since 2000, leaves the bench with a 166-225-42 record. His best season was 2006-07, when he led a Jonathan Quick backstopped team to a 21-13-5 overall record. Last season, his team skated to an uneven 13-18-5 record, just barely qualifying for a spot in the Hockey East postseason. They were swept by eventual national champion Boston College in the Hockey East quarterfinals.
MassLive.com reporter Harry Plumer tweeted that UMass Amherst will pay Cahoon the remaining year of his contract, which is in the $200,000 range.
Cahoon's departure is a surprise, especially this late into the off-season. After the quarterfinal series loss, Cahoon's head coaching job seemed safe. McCutcheon told The Republican (Springfield, MA) in mid-March that Cahoon would be back leading the team in 2012-13.
Cahoon's departure comes just a handful of days after assistant coach Blaise MacDonald departed the Minutemen for a head coaching gig at Division III Colby College. MacDonald had been added to the UMass Amherst staff in 2011 after being dismissed as head coach of UMass Lowell.