Middlebury College has announced the hiring of Brian Phinney '05 as the assistant men's hockey coach. He returns to Middlebury from the Salisbury School in Connecticut, where he was the director of financial aid and an assistant varsity coach in various sports for the past seven years. The Ripton, Vermont native and four-year Panther hockey player graduated from Middlebury with a degree in history. He was also a four-year member of the men's lacrosse program.
"I am excited to have Brian join the coaching staff," said head coach Neil Sinclair. "His experience with and passion for Middlebury hockey and the community was obvious during our conversations. His role as an educator, working closely with student-athletes, and his commitment to excellence, both on and off the ice, offer further reinforcement that he is the right person to help us write the next chapter for Middlebury hockey."
"I am thrilled about, and grateful for this opportunity," said Phinney. "I have an enthusiasm for Middlebury hockey that was ignited when I was a young local fan watching the Alcindor brothers, Kent Hughes, Brent Truchon and all the other greats at The Duke. The support from the town, and all the great people within the community who make Middlebury Athletics such a unique experience is truly a great thing. Coach Sinclair has always been one of my mentors, so I am excited to work closely with him for the upcoming years."
While at the Salisbury School, Phinney held many roles in addition to his work with financial aid and hockey. He served as the Co-Director of the Leadership Initiative and a dorm parent for six years and dorm head from 2013-15. Phinney served as the head junior varsity lacrosse coach for seven years and was also the assistant varsity soccer coach from 2010-12.
Phinney has worked with USA Hockey for the last three years as a coach and evaluator based in Buffalo. He has also worked USA Select Festivals featuring the top 15-17 year old players from across the country.
While on the ice, he served as the hockey captain during his senior season and earned All-American laurels and Second-Team All-NESCAC accolades. He was a finalist for the Joe Concannon Award, given annually to New England's best American-born Division II/III college hockey player.
During his four years on the ice, the Panthers claimed two NCAA Championships (2003-04 and 2004-05) and three NESCAC crowns. Phinney has anchored the nation's top defense as a senior, allowing just 1.71 goals per contest. He concluded his career on the ice with 76 points (28-48-76) in 113 games played.
On the lacrosse field, Phinney was a long-stick midfielder for the Panthers who claimed the 2002 NCAA Championship as well four NESCAC titles during his four years. He started 56 career games in the Middlebury midfield.
Following graduation from Middlebury, Phinney played two seasons of professional hockey for Hammarby IF and one year for the Nybro Vikings in Sweden. He earned his masters degree in sport management in 2010 from the Isensberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.