Mark Dennehy was named the 17th coach in team history on May 30, 2018.
Dennehy, 50, makes the jump from college hockey to the professional ranks, after serving as the head coach of Merrimack College for 13 years. When Mark first took over the role in 2005, the program was coming off its 16th consecutive losing season. In a matter of six years under his guidance, the Warriors were not only having success, but setting school records, as the 2010-11 team earned a school-record 25 wins, while reaching the Hockey East Championship Game for the first time ever, and earning a berth in the NCAA National Tournament for the first time since 1988. Merrimack College followed that up with an 18-12-7 mark, as the school was earning a reputation as a contender in a challenging conference. Dennehy collected 161 wins during his tenure.
The Dorchester, Massachusetts native has been involved in Hockey East for the majority of his career, starting in 1987, when he suited up as a defenseman for the Boston College Eagles. Mark attended Boston College for four years, registering eight goals, 46 assists, and 54 points in 133 games. He went on to play in the British Hockey League, before returning to North America, where he made the transition to become a coach. Dennehy was an assistant coach at Princeton University and UMass-Amherst, before earning the opportunity to be Merrimack College's head coach.
Six former Nailers played under Dennehy at Merrimack College - forwards Matt Byrnes, Chris Barton, Ryan Flanigan, Jordan Fox and Matt Johnson, as well as defenseman Adam Ross. Barton, Flanigan and Ross were all members of the 2010-11 team that reached the NCAA National Tournament. Other notable players Mark coached include goaltenders Joe Cannata and Collin Delia. Cannata recently backstopped the Colorado Eagles to the Kelly Cup Final, while Delia made his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks this past season. Dennehy becomes the third NCAA Division I Coach to be hired by a professional team this summer, joining Jim Montgomery and David Quinn, who both went to the NHL.
Mark and his wife Heather have three daughters - Kelsey (14), Kielan (13), and Caroline (10).