Hometown: East Providence, Rhode Island
Education: Brown, 1994, B.A. , Organizational Behavior and Management
Coaching Experience: Head Coach, Brown University, 2009-present
Assistant Coach, Dartmouth College, 1998-2009
Assistant Coach, Brown University, 1997-1998
Assistant Coach, Colby College, 1996-1997
Volunteer Assistant Coach, Brown University, 1994-1996
East Providence native, Brendan Whittet, a 1994 graduate of Brown University, and an assistant coach at Dartmouth for 11 years, was named the 15th head men's hockey coach at Brown in July of 2009. He will begin his seventh season behind the Brown bench in 2015-16.
“I am absolutely delighted to have Brendan Whittet return to Brown as our head coach,” said Director of Athletics Michael Goldberger. “Brendan has a proven record of accomplishment as an assistant coach and brings a strong passion for Brown to our program. He had tremendous success as a player at Brown and has the knowledge and skills to guide the team to the same level of achievement that he experienced as a player. I know that Brendan learned from one of the best coaches in the league in Bob Gaudet at Brown and Dartmouth, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to Brown.”
A 15-year veteran of the college coaching ranks, Whittet spent the 11 seasons prior to joining Brown as an assistant on the Dartmouth College staff, helping to guide the Big Green to the 2006 ECAC Regular Season Championship and the 2007 Ivy League Championship. During Whittet’s tenure on the Dartmouth staff, the Big Green were perennially ranked among the nation’s elite, posting seven straight winning seasons (2000-2007) and 166 wins from 1998-2009.
“I am so thankful to have the opportunity to be the head hockey coach at Brown University,” said Whittet. “I would especially like to thank Mike Goldberger, Bob Kenneally, and the search committee for this wonderful opportunity. As a Brown alum and a Rhode Island native, my family and I are ecstatic to be heading home. I loved my time at Brown as a student-athlete and as an assistant coach and have a true appreciation for the positive impact that the University can play in one’s life.
“One of my goals when I got into the coaching profession (17) years ago was to position myself to ultimately return to Brown as its head coach. That dream is now a reality. I am ready to attack the job with tenacity, dedication, passion and positive energy to return the Bears’ hockey program to the top of both the ECAC and the NCAA.”
Whittet's first season at Brown produced immediate dividends, as he guided the Bears to one of their most successful seasons in recent history. Brown won 13 games, the most since winning 16 during the 2004-05 season. Under Whittet's guidance, the Bears improved nearly every facet of their game offensively, while advancing to the ECAC Championship Tournament after finishing the regular season in 11th. Along the way during their historic playoff run, the Bears upset sixth-seeded Rensselaer in the First Round, before upsetting top-seeded and 6th-ranked Yale in the Quarterfinals. Brown closed out its first season under Whittet by finishing third in the League with a 3-0 shutout over St. Lawrence in the third place game.
Individually, tri-captain Jordan Pietrus ’10 was the national recipient of the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award. Established by the HCA in honor of former Army player Derek Hines, who was a “consummate team player and team builder,” the award recognizes the collegiate player who embodies Hines’ spirit and relentless commitment.
Aaron Volpatti ’10 and Jeff Buvinow ’12 were named All-Ivy, while Volpatti also earned All-ECAC honors and was a finalist for the ECAC’s Best Defensive Forward Award. Volpatti, who signed an NHL contact with Vancouver at the conclusion of the season, also earned Academic All-Ivy and CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.
In 2010-11, Whittet improved the Bears' regular season positioning from 11th to 9th and the Bears were in the hunt for a first round home series until the final weekend of the season. Whittet and his staff guided Brown to many big wins, including a 6-1 victory over #10 Boston University, a pair of ties with #6 UNH (5-5) and #2 Boston University (4-4), and a 3-2 win over #1 Yale, Brown's first-ever modern era win over a team ranked #1 in the Country. The Bears also swept Colgate and Cornell in the same season for the first time ever.
Individually, Harry Zolnierczyk ’11 was named the Ivy League Player of the Year and earned First Team All-Ivy honors, while Dennis Robertson ’14, a 2011 draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs (6th round) was named Second Team All-Ivy. Jack Maclellan ’12 (Second Team) and Robertson (All-Rookie) were both named All-ECAC at the conclusion of the season. Zolnierczyk, who signed an NHL contract with Philadelphia at the conclusion of the season, was also named CoSIDA Academic All-District.
Whittet’s third season was accompanied by some highs and lows. By the end of January, the Bears found themselves at 8-8-3 and in the upper half of the ECAC. They had compiled some impressive non-conference wins, including a 5-2 victory over UNH in Durham, N.H. and a 5-2 win against Providence College. The victory over the Friars earned Whittet his first Mayor’s Cup as head coach of the Bears. Unfortunately, Brown struggled down the stretch, ultimately losing a three-game first-round playoff series at Quinnipiac.
For his leadership and community-service work, Bobby Farnham ’12 received the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award. He also received the Joe Tomasello Unsung Hero Award, given by New England Hockey Writers. Dennis Robertson ’14 received Second Team All-Ivy honors. Jack Maclellan ’12 earned First Team All-Ivy and Second Team All-ECAC recognition. Following the season, Maclellan also signed a two-way contract with the Nashville Predators. Collectively, the men’s ice hockey team received a perfect APR, academic progress rate, from the NCAA.
In 2012-13, Whittet guided the Bears to the program’s best season in two decades. The Bears finished with an overall record of 16-14-6 for the team’s first winning season since the 2004-05 campaign and put together a remarkable run down the stretch in the ECAC Tournament. The seventh-seeded Bears earned a first round series win over Clarkson, in two games, and then a quarterfinal series win over second-seeded Rensselaer, in three games, before upsetting #1 Quinnipiac in the semifinals to advance to the Championship game for the first time since 1993. Brown fell to Union in the championship game but recorded seven more wins than the previous season.
Matt Lorito ’15 finished second in the conference in goals scored and was named Second Team All-ECAC following the season. Additionally, Anthony Borelli ’13 earned Third Team All-ECAC recognition. Borelli, Lorito and Dennis Robertson ’14 all earned First Team All-Ivy honors.
In 2013-14, the Bears finished the season with an overall record of 11-17-3, playing nine games against teams that reached the NCAA Tournament, which included wins over Quinnipiac and Colgate, and ties against Boston College and Denver. Whittet notched his 50th career victory in a season-opening weekend sweep over defending national champion Yale and Dartmouth to claim the Liberty Hockey Invitational.
Dennis Robertson ’14 was named the ECAC Hockey Co-Best Defensive Defenseman following the season, and was also named Third Team All-ECAC and First Team All-Ivy. Matt Lorito ’15 was named Second Team All-Ivy, while Nick Lappin ’16 and Tyler Steel ’17 were both named Honorable Mention All-Ivy.
While at Dartmouth, Whittet was involved in many aspects of running the program including recruiting, video analysis, off-ice skill development, NCAA compliance issues, working primarily with the Dartmouth defensemen, and overseeing the team’s penalty-killing unit. Whittet helped lead the program to a tremendous resurgence, as the Big Green were perennially ranked in the top-20 and posted four seasons with at least 18 wins, including two 20-win seasons. Dartmouth also appeared regularly in the ECAC Tournament, making semi-final appearances in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007. Under Whittet’s guidance, the defensive unit saw a similar transformation, reaching a milestone during the 2004-05 season when the team recorded its lowest goals against average in 44 years. Dartmouth allowed 2.37 goals per game that placed the defensive unit among the elite teams nationally. A similar trend can be seen in the penalty kill. The 2004-05 unit finished with an 86.1 percent kill ratio that placed statistically in the top 10 in the country.
Before his arrival at Dartmouth, Whittet’s teams at Brown and Colby both experienced success. In 1995, his first season coaching the Bears, Brown won the Ivy League Title. In 1996-97 Colby finished with a 19-6-1 record and captured the ECAC East Playoff Championship. Whittet then returned to Brown for one more season, helping to lead the Bears to a fourth place finish during the ECAC Regular Season, after finishing in 12th the year before.
For 12 summers, Whittet worked for the New England District at various USA Hockey Select Summer Festivals, serving as an assistant coach in the summer of 2008 for the US Under-17 National Select Team that competed in the 5 Nations Tournament, held in Prievidza, Slovakia. Whittet has also been the head coach for the New England Select-16 team that participated in the 2000 USA Festival that went undefeated in the tournament. Whittet also serves as a member of the New England Select coaching staff that works with elite New England players ranging in age from 13-18.
A former defenseman at Brown, Whittet was a four-year letterwinner. He appeared in 74 games and helped lead the Bears to an Ivy League title in 1992, two trips to the ECAC Final Four Championship in 1993 and 1994, and an NCAA at-large tournament team selection in 1993.
During Whittet’s high school career he was a two-time Rhode Island all-state and all-league selection at perennial powerhouse Mount St. Charles. He was named the Rhode Island Defensive Player of the Year in 1988-89. Whittet also played for Southern New England in the Junior Olympics in 1989, before heading to the Kent School for a postgraduate year.
This is Whittet’s second head coaching position at Brown, as early in his career, while an assistant coach for the Brown hockey team, Whittet was also the head men’s golf coach.
Whittet, his wife, Karen, are the parents of two daughters, Peyton and Addyson.
• Whittet is the 15th head coach in the 112-year history of the Brown men’s hockey program
• Whittet is the 3rd Brown hockey alum to be named Head Coach of the men’s hockey team, joining Wescott E.S. Moulton ’31 (1948-52), Donald F. Whiston ’51 (1953-55), and J. Allan Soares ’60 (1971-74)
• Whittet is one of eight Brown alumni on the current Brown athletic department staff, joining Paul Cooke ’89 (Men’s Crew Head Coach), Bob Kenneally ’90 (Women's Hockey Head Coach), Mike Martin ’04 (Men's Basketball Head Coach), Keely McDonald ’00 (Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach), Phoebe Murphy ’80 (Women’s Crew Assistant Coach), Catherine Starr (Women's Crew Assistant Coach) and Lars Tiffany ’90 (Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach).
Whittet Year-by-Year Results
|Season||Overall||ECAC Hockey (finish)||Ivy League (finish)|
|2009-10||13-20-4||6-12-4 (11th)||2-7-1 (t-5th)|
|2010-11||10-16-5||8-12-2 (9th)||4-6-0 (4th)|
|2011-12||9-18-5||5-13-4 (12th)||2-6-2 (6th)|
|2012-13||16-14-6||7-9-6 (7th)||5-5-0 (4th)|
|2013-14||11-17-3||8-13-1 (9th)||5-5-0 (4th)|
|2014-15||8-20-3||5-14-3 (11th)||2-6-2 (5th)|