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CM Get A New Head Coach (2.0)

Mark Cornforth steps down, Larry Rooney new Catholic Memorial hockey coach
Jim Clark Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Mark Cornforth has stepped down after one season as hockey coach at Catholic Memorial and will be replaced next season by Larry Rooney.

A letter sent Tuesday by CM athletic director Craig Najarian to school staff confirmed the changes. Najarian cited that Cornforth, who was hired by the school last August to replace the legendary Bill Hanson, was leaving his positions as hockey coach and admissions associate at the end of the school year to spend more time with family.

Rooney, who is the associate director of admissions at CM, previously served as athletic director at Milton High from 2013-15. Before that, Rooney was the boys hockey coach at Thayer Academy from 2002-2010. While at Thayer, Rooney led his teams to two Independent Schools League championships and New England Prep Schools championship tournaments. Rooney later served as an assistant at Curry College from 2010-12.

"Larry has an outstanding hockey pedigree as both a player and a coach," Najarian wrote in the letter to faculty and staff. "We are fortunate to have him on our staff and I have no doubt that his enthusiasm and passion for CM hockey will set a tone for our program. We are very excited about his new role as head coach."

Cornforth, who played at Merrimack College and had a brief stint with the Bruins, went 5-13-2 in his one season as coach of the Knights. He took over the program last year after Hanson was told last May by the school that he would not return for the 2015-16 season.

Hanson's 608 career victories are the third-most in MIAA hockey history, behind only the late Ed Burns of Arlington and former Matignon coach Marty Pierce. Catholic Memorial was the most decorated program in Mass. high school hockey in Hanson's 38 seasons, winning 17 state championships -- including 13 in the prestigious Super Eight tournament.

The Knights' last championship season was 2008-09, and the program has lagged behind its Catholic Conference rivals in recent years. CM missed the postseason for the fourth time in six seasons in 2015-16, and its record was the program's worst in more than 30 years.

The Knights reached the Super Eight semifinals in 2013 and also qualified in 2014. CM also won 20 Catholic Conference championships in Hanson's tenure, the last coming in 2009-10.

Re: CM Get A New Head Coach (2.0)

And they're building a sheet of ice too? Not sure if that's true but I've heard rumors.

Re: CM Gets A New Head Coach (2.0)

Has the new guy or any of his assistants been invovled in youth hockey in the area recently??? He will need those connections to recruit kids like the other C.C. coaches. If he hasn't, he is already 3-4 more years away from a re-build.

Re: CM Gets A New Head Coach (2.0)

In that region others are very active finding or developing young talent and my guess is Dexter (Donato) & Thayer (Amonte) will get the prep kids, BCH (Flaherty) will get the Catholic / lower priced kids and Boston Advantage (Lovell) for Juniors. No easy way out of the slump CM is in. But you're right, he better get connected to the youth programs if he stands a snowball's chance, and do it years ago.

Even Father Time (B.H.) himself had his assistant coaches and former coaches out doing leg work, finding kids for him for years.

Re: CM Gets A New Head Coach (2.0)

He does have the advantage of a clean slate and can offer the play NOW opportunity that a lot of the schools cant promise.