WORCESTER, Mass. — Director of athletics Michael Mudd has announced that Shayne Toporowski will take the reigns as the sixth Worcester State head coach. Toporowski replaces John Guiney, who resigned last month after guiding the Lancers for 22 seasons.
“I am very excited for our student-athletes to have the opportunity to learn and play under Shayne,” Mudd said.
“This is a great opportunity to take the Lancers in a new direction,” Toporowski said. “I am eager to share and instill some of the great concepts that I have learned throughout my professional career as a player and a coach.”
Mudd also announced that the men’s ice hockey team will play their entire 10-game home slate at the Hart Center on the campus of Holy Cross.
“I would like to thank athletic director Nate Pine for welcoming and allowing Worcester State University to play our home games at the Hart Center,” Mudd said. “Our student-athletes deserve the opportunity to experience playing collegiate hockey in a top-flight venue.”
Toporowski, who begins his first stint at the collegiate level as a head coach, previously was an assistant at Holy Cross. Toporowski helped guide the Crusaders to the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey League tournament while also assisting in every facet of the program from recruiting, scouting, game-day preparation, video analysis and other miscellaneous coaching tasks.
“His experience as a player at the highest levels, combined with his experience recruiting and coaching student-athletes under Paul Pearl at Holy Cross will increase our recruiting presence in New England and makes him the best candidate to lead our hockey program into the future,” Mudd said.
Toporowski played 1,057 games for 15 teams in seven different countries during a solid 18-year professional career.
“We will play fast, maintain pucks and bring our goals-against average down as a team. To accomplish this goal, we will keep pucks out of our net by blocking shots, communicating defensively and improving through video teaching on our overall awareness of on-ice responsibilities,” Toporowski said.
“I will put my best foot forward as I always have in this great game and I expect the players, coaching and support staff to equal or exceed these expectations.”
During his various stops as a professional, Toporowski put his leadership skills on display, where he served as the player representative while in Europe as the clubs liaison for their corporate sponsors and he was the St. John’s Maple Leafs player union representative during the 1995-96 campaign.
Locally, Toporowski runs Competitive Goals Hockey Training in Marlboro, Massachusetts, as the president and director of hockey operations, where he trains players from the mite to the professional level while also running various clinics and a youth summer camp.
He has also taught at the Toporowski Skills Camp in Worcester and Quad Cities, Iowa, the Olivers Jacked On The Hill camp at Holy Cross, John Dillon Explosive Power Skating in Worcester and he was the lead instructor from 2010-12 for the Saskatchewan Hockey Association in Saskatoon.
Toporowski currently holds his HP1 High Performance coaching certification from Hockey Canada and his certificate in General Manager/Scouting from Sports Management Worldwide.