St. Lawrence head coach Joe Marsh has announced his retirement following a 26-year career as the Saints’ coach, citing the time commitment for the continuation of treatment for a condition that prompted him to take a medical leave for the 2011-12 season.

He will be replaced behind the bench by Greg Carvel, who will become head coach after sharing the coaching duties with Mike Hurlbut this past season.

Hurlbut will continue in his role as associate head coach.

“The time feels right,” said Marsh in a news release. “We have the right people in place to take the reins of the program. Two of our former players, one of whom played in the NHL, and the other who has years of coaching experience in the NHL.”

Marsh compiled a coaching record of 468-399-72 in 26 seasons, the most career victories of any active ECAC coach and became the third coach in NCAA Division I history to accrue more than 400 wins at one institution. He is the seventh coach since 1951 to win multiple Spencer Penrose Awards as the NCAA Division I Hockey Coach of the Year (1989, 2000) and was ECAC Coach of the Year a record four times.

Carvel, a 1993 graduate of St. Lawrence and a former captain, joined the staff in the fall of 2011.

“Looking at the future of the program, we have been extremely impressed with the way Greg Carvel and Mike Hurlbut handled the team this past season,” added St. Lawrence athletics director Margie Strait. “The feedback from the players, alumni and the university community has been very positive. In continuing discussions with Joe Marsh, he has been very supportive of Greg and Mike and impressed with the new systems Greg has introduced to our program to make us a better team. We feel we could not find a better person to take over our program after Joe’s long and very successful tenure as head coach.”

Carvel becomes the 13th head coach in SLU history and the second as Charles W. Appleton II Head Men’s Ice Hockey Coach, an endowed position established in 1997. Carvel is the second St. Lawrence graduate to be head coach of the Saints, joining the late Bernie McKinnon (class of 1959), who coached the team in 1967-68 and from 1971-76. Carvel is also the second Canton, N.Y., native to be head coach of the Saints, joining Paul Patten, who coached from 1947-50.

  • Guest1

    A very sad day as a Saints Hockey fan…This man had the utmost respect for the players, fans and other coaches of the game..Appleton Arena and the Saints bench won’t be the same without Joe…26 years is a long time to spend at one school, but to have several All Americans, 5 ECAC Titles and just around a great coach…May you enjoy your retirement joe and i hope to see you lurking around Appleton….

    • FD8

       Not just the Saints, but I think it can be echoed by the entire ECAC. Everyone in the league had respect for Coach Marsh, and he will be greatly missed.

      • Guest1

        you are right…he was well known in the Hockey world and he will be deeply missed by everyone….I have watched him coach every single year but 1….

    • Buzzclarke8

      I definitely concur with the above assessment of Coach Marsh.  I have had the fortunate pleasure of watching three of my sons attend colleges on hockey scholarships…and without a doubt, there was never a more dedicated, fair, honest and outstanding players’ coach like Joe Marsh.  We wish him every success in his retirement.

  • Union Alum ’97

    I said it b4, they should make Joe Marsh Coach of the Year this year.  There is no great candidate this year.  Everyone says Bennett and he did a nice job, but he had a great squad in place. 

    Congrats on a great career Coach Marsh.  You will be missed.

  • Stevefritsch

    I was a shy intern working for WPTZ in the winter of 1988.  First time out solo to get an interview was to Appleton Arena after a Saints practice.  I could barely get the camera out of it’s case in Joe Marsh’s office.  Never forgot how nice he was that day and I’ve been a Saints fan ever since.  A Good Man

  • Enchanted_Tiki_Room

    Coach Marsh is a class act and I have the utmost respect for him as a Cornell fan. SLU has always been a tough match up and played a relatively clean and competitive style of hockey whenever our teams met. Marsh breathes and lives college hockey, and it is extremely sad to see a fixture of our sport retiring. 

    I wish Coach Marsh the best of luck and congratulate him on a most-impressive career.