KINGSTON, R.I. —August 7, 2008 — Joe Augustine, who has won a national championship as coach of the University of Rhode Island’s men’s hockey team, has been named head coach of the 2009 United States University Select Team, which will compete at the Winter World University Games, to be held Feb. 18 through 28, 2009 in Harbin, China.
The U.S. University Select Team is comprised of players from collegiate ice hockey teams affiliated with the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), the umbrella organization for collegiate club hockey in the United States. URI plays at the Division I club level.
Augustine served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the Winter World University Games in 2007 in Turin, Italy under Chad Cassel of the University of Illinois.
“It’s a really great honor, we had four URI players make the team for the games in Turin, and it was the best hockey they played in their lives,” said Augustine, a resident of North Scituate. “It’s also a great educational experience. This is a great honor for our University, and to be selected from such great coaches, is humbling.”
So far there are five URI players still in contention for a spot. Augustine started with 160 players from college and university club teams across the country. Then a selection committee whittled the number to 88 players, who will battle for spots during camp in Detroit from Aug. 15 through 17. The players will be assigned to one of four teams who will practice and then play against each other. The coaches and selection committee will make final selections at the conclusion of the camp.
Members of the URI squad still in the hunt for a berth on the team are: senior defenseman Jonathan Biliouris, of North Smithfield, who was on the team that went to Italy; sophomore Paul Doran of Monroe, N.Y.; senior right wing Ben Herring, of Sewickley, Pa.; sophomore forward Devin Sheehan, of Binghamton, N.Y.; and sophomore forward Kyle Krannich of Mendham, N.J.
Augustine is in his 20th season as head coach at URI. He brings more than 25 years of experience to the Rhode Island hockey program, both as a player and coach. Under Augustine, Rhode Island has enjoyed a 390-170-33 record, 19 consecutive winning seasons and the ACHA National Championship in 2006. Augustine won ACHA Men’s Division 1 Coach-of-the-Year Awards in 2004-05 and 2005-06, and was the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association Coach of the Year in 2003-04.
In the 1980s, he coached at Pawtucket’s Tolman and Shea High schools, and then spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Brown University. He was the head coach for a year at the Community College of Rhode Island.
Augustine joined the Rams in 1989. While working as a pro advanced scout for the Cornwall Aces (AHL) in 1995, the top farm club for the National Hockey League’s Quebec Nordiques, Augustine was a member of the NCAA Organizational Committee for the 1995 NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament in Providence.
Born and raised in Chicago, Ill., Augustine’s outstanding work in high school and junior hockey led to a spot on the United States Junior All-American Team selected by the NHL. He was also a member of the U.S. Junior National Team that participated in the World Junior Tournament held in Winnipeg, Canada.
He then enrolled at Boston College, helping the Eagles to a Beanpot Championship in 1976, an ECAC Championship and a second-place finish in the 1978 NCAA Tournament held in Providence. He was inducted into the Boston College Hall of Fame in October 2005.
Augustine turned pro after his junior year and played six seasons with the Calgary Flames, New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devil organizations.
Augustine earned his bachelor’s degree in public administration during the off-season. Augustine resides in North Scituate, with his wife Jewell (a former Ice Capades skater), their daughter, Jaclyn, 20, and Jon, 15. Jaclyn is a freshman on the URI women’s hockey team.
URI Hockey Coach Joe Augustine. URI Communications and Marketing photos by Nora Lewis.
THIS IS HOW IT’S DONE: URI men’s hockey coach Joe Augustine, at right, in action at the Boss Arena on the Kingston Campus.