March 3, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Two University of Massachusetts Dartmouth head coaches achieved milestones within a few days of each other recently. Head hockey coach John Rolli won his 500th career game when the Corsairs won at Johnson & Wales in the final game of the regular season last Saturday evening, and head men's basketball coach Brian Baptiste earned the 500th win of his collegiate coaching career when UMass Dartmouth defeated UMass Boston in the first round of the Little East Conference tournament at the Tripp Athletic Center Tuesday evening.
Rolli is now 500-135-23 in his 25th season at UMass Dartmouth, while Baptiste is now 500-213 in his 26th year.
The win for the hockey team cemented fourth place in the ECAC Northeast, and allowed the Corsairs a chance to go for an unprecedented fourth consecutive conference championship and fourth consecutive berth in the NCAA Division III Championships.
"I think it's a tremendous accomplishment for UMass Dartmouth hockey," said Rolli. "Our program has had the highest winning percentage of any program in the country during the last 34 years, and on behalf of our program, I'd like to thank the students, our fans, the athletic administration, led by (Director of Athletics) Ian Day, and the university administration, led by Chancellor (Dr. Jean) MacCormack, who has been a great fan of UMD hockey over the years."
The basketball team's victory sent them to the LEC Final Four for the 10th consecutive season, and gives them a chance to earn a bid to the NCAA Division III Championships for the second year in a row.
"I appreciate all the attention that has been shown because of the accomplishment," said Baptiste. "It's a tribute to all the fine players and assistant coaches who I've had throughout the years. It's been a great pleasure to work here; I really enjoy what I do."
"Winning 500 games is a tremendous achievement," said UMass Dartmouth Director of Athletics Ian Day. "It can also say a lot about a coach. It tells me that individual has a tremendous work ethic, that they are very knowledgeable about their sport, and, when they do it all at one institution, it also tells me how loyal they are. These are all attributes that both coaches exemplify. UMass Dartmouth considers itself fortunate to have John Rolli and Brian Baptiste as head coaches. Their achievements reflect the time and effort they have dedicated not just to their programs, but also to UMass Dartmouth."
UMASS DARTMOUTH ATHLETICS