April 15, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Keith Allain '80, a former Bulldog goalie who coached in the NHL and in the Olympics, has been named the 11th head coach of the 111-year-old Yale men's ice hockey program.
Allain, the new Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Yale Men's Hockey, is the second Yale graduate to take the position and the first since Lawrence M. Noble '27 coached the Elis from 1928 to 1930.
"The playing and coaching resume of Keith Allain is extraordinary. He was an outstanding student-athlete at Yale and he continued to distinguish himself as a coach of two Olympic teams and two NHL programs," said Tom Beckett, Yale's Director of Athletics. "All of this combined with his love of Yale University and Yale Hockey make this appointment a source of great pride for all of us."
Allain, who was the starting goalie on four Bulldog squads and recorded the second-most (31) wins for a Yale netminder, ranks third at the school with 2,337 career saves. He owns four of the top 10 Yale single-game save totals, including 55 stops in a 7-3 loss at Minnesota on Dec. 28, 1978. Allain, who has been the goalie coach for the St. Louis Blues since 1998, served as assistant coach for the 2006 U.S. Olympic Team in Italy last February. He also assisted with the 2005 U.S. National Team at the world championships.
Under Allain's guidance, St. Louis netminders gave up the fewest goals in the NHL in 1999-2000, claiming the William M. Jennings Trophy. That season the Blues captured the President's Trophy for the best regular-season record in the league. His professional coaching experience includes serving as a scout for the NHL's Nashville Predators in 1997-98 and a four-year (1993-97) stint as an assistant coach for the Washington Capitals.
Allain's extensive international coaching career includes serving as an assistant coach for the United States team that captured the championship of the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996 (with current Yale goalie coach Mike Richter in the net) while registering a 6-1-0 overall mark. He returned to the World Cup of Hockey with the U.S. in 2004 as goaltending coach. Allain was also an assistant coach for the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team (current Harvard head coach Ted Donato skated for him), which placed fourth in Albertville, France with a 5-2-1 record. His involvement with USA Hockey includes guiding the U.S. as head coach at the 2001 and 2002 IIHF World Junior Championships.
Allain replaces his original mentor, Tim Taylor, who was head coach of the Bulldogs for the last 30 years and whose first team included the new Eli mentor (there were two interim head coaches, including Yale graduate Dan Poliziani, while Taylor was working with Olympic teams). Taylor hired Allain to be his assistant from 1982 to 1985 before the prized pupil left the collegiate game to coach and scout in Sweden.
"It is a tremendous honor and a great responsibility to follow in Tim Taylor's footsteps as head hockey coach at Yale. His impact on Yale, Yale Hockey, and me personally has been profound. I enthusiastically embrace the challenge of building upon his legacy while taking the Yale Hockey program to the next level. I have great memories of the energy and passion that can only be found in a sold out Ingalls Rink, and can't wait for opening night."
Allain, a Worcester, Mass., native who has six brothers (five of them played college hockey), played two years (1980-82) of professional hockey in Sweden before suffering a career-ending injury.
He and his wife, Mi, have three children: Josefine, a soccer player at Wagner College, Julia and Niklas.
report by Steve Conn, Yale Assistant AD & Sports Publicity Director
Keith Allain '80