Anthony Corrales/Sun Senior Photographer

April 25, 2024

BREAKING: Associate Head Coach Ben Syer Reportedly Hired by Princeton

Print More

This story will be updated.

Men’s hockey associate head coach, Ben Syer, was reportedly hired by Princeton as its next head coach on Thursday, per sources. Syer departs after 12 years at Cornell. 

The move has not been formally announced by Princeton nor Cornell but has been verified by multiple college hockey insiders on X (formally known as Twitter). Princeton is expected to announce the hire as early as Thursday afternoon, according to Brad Elliott Schlossman, a college hockey reporter for the Grand Forks Herald.

A source close to the team told The Sun that the news of Syer’s departure was officially announced to the players on Thursday, though speculation over the last few weeks persisted as Syer wasn’t around the rink after the players’ final meetings following the season’s end.

The move comes after Princeton’s former head coach, Ron Fogarty, was fired on March 18. Cornell’s season ended on March 30 after the Red lost to Denver — the eventual national champion — in the NCAA tournament regional final. 

It was reported by College Hockey News on April 18 that Syer was among three finalists for the position.

Syer’s name was first mentioned in the Princton head coach candidacy conversations on April 6, when Mike McMahon — a senior reporter for College Hockey News — listed the Cornell associate as a name Princeton was interested in through McMahon’s “College Hockey Insider Newsletter.”

Syer, a 1998 graduate of Western Ontario University, joined Cornell’s coaching staff as an assistant in 2011. Since then, he has spearheaded Cornell’s defensive group and also serves as the director of player recruiting for Cornell hockey.

Syer is most well known for his work with Cornell’s defensive corps, instilling a stingy system that has been marquee to Cornell’s style of play throughout the years of its recent success. 

In 2018, Syer was awarded American Hockey Coaches Association’s Terry Flanagan Award, which honors an assistant coach for their entire body of work, responsibilities and accomplishments.

After 12 years with the team serving at the helm of head coach Mike Schafer ’86, Syer will depart Ithaca for the first head coaching gig of his career. Before his time with the Red, Syer spent 12 years as an associate coach at Quinnipiac and spent one year with Ohio University as an assistant.

Syer leaves the staff vacant of an associate coach position. Under the leadership of Schafer, assistant coach Sean Flannigan and assistant coach and Director of Hockey Operations Ben Russell ’20 remain.