TAMPA, Fla. — Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold has talked several times this week about the history of his program — its humble beginnings and rapid rise to one of the top programs in the country.
A big part of that legacy is associate head coach Reid Cashman, who has made his mark as both a player and a coach.
Cashman, who played for Quinnipiac from 2003 to 2007, was the first Bobcats player to earn national recognition as a player as an All-American his final three seasons, including as a sophomore during Quinnipiac’s last year in Atlantic Hockey, and then his final two seasons in ECAC Hockey.
A two-time Hobey Baker Award finalist, Cashman holds school records for career assists (125) and points (148) by a defenseman.
“Reid was our first All-American,” said Pecknold. “I believe he was a three-time All-American. He was a big-time player for us in Atlantic Hockey. I remember Reid’s sophomore year he led our team in scoring, the first time for a defenseman.”
When the Bobcats moved to ECAC Hockey in 2005, the conventional wisdom was that Cashman wouldn’t be able to replicate his success. But he dominated that league as well, averaging more than a point per game and being named to the ECAC Hockey all-decade team.
“When we went to the ECAC, people said he couldn’t do that again,” said Pecknold. “Boom. He was just a great player.”
Cashman said he chose to play at Quinnipiac for two reasons.
“The campus and the chance to play,” he said. “It was a beautiful campus and I remember sitting in the office with Rand, who told me we were losing three senior defensemen and that I was going to be on the power play from day one. And true to his word, the first practice, I was.”
After several years of professional hockey in North America and Europe, Cashman got the opportunity to come home to Quinnipiac as a coach in 2012.
“I was playing professionally and started thinking what I wanted to do when I was done with that,” he said. “I was all ready to go back to Germany and the day I got the contract, Rand offered me the job here.
“It was an easy choice. I had just gotten engaged. My wife’s a Quinnipiac alum. We were both excited to come back.”
“We’re really fortunate to have Reid on our staff,” said Pecknold. “He’s one of the best assistants in the game and Billy [Riga], one of my other guys, is also one of the best in the league. They’re the reason we’re up here. I know I’m the one up here getting the accolades and stuff but my staff is awesome. We’ve got a great system going and those guys are phenomenal for me.”