UConn's New Hockey Coach Says He's Here To Win Championships

He was joking.

"I talked to the governor three-four times since last summer about hockey," Manuel said. "I called him to give him a heads-up on the three finalists. He said, 'Seems like great choices to me. I don't think you can go wrong.'"

After Cavanaugh had signed a five-year deal worth about $1 million, Manuel left Malloy a voicemail.

"I told him he didn't need to call me back and he didn't," Manuel said. "Look, he loves hockey. He's a great supporter of UConn. But he at no point tried to influence the decision. It just turned out I picked a great coach from his alma mater."

It's funny. Cavanaugh goes from the guy people wondered why he hadn't landed a head coaching job to one where people are wondering if he'll return to BC after York, 67, retires.

"If we do well and he's a candidate for BC, I'm fine with that," Manuel said. "I'll try to compete with BC or anybody else. I'm not going to make a decision based on if he may get taken away some day. I want the best people. Period. If he doesn't do well here, believe me, BC won't come calling. If he does, they'll come calling."

The home opener at the XL Center in the 2014-15 season will be against BC. After all the back and forth between the schools, after all the Big East and ACC turmoil, this should be delicious theater.

"I'm going to want to beat them bad," Cavanaugh said. "I don't think Jerry York would expect any less from me. I know Jerry is going to want to beat UConn. And in the summertime, I'll play golf and have a coffee with Jerry. But as long as they're keeping score, I want to win."

"One thing I want to make clear is BC was a terrific place for me. I developed a lot as a person there. I met my wife [Lynne] there. Both my kids [Quinn and Caroline] were baptized on campus. It'll always be a special place in my heart, but no more special than Bowdoin College, where I went to school, or North Andover, where I'm from. They're all special to me … but going forward, my time at BC isn't going to paralyze me as I become a Husky."

Cavanaugh met Jim Calhoun on Thursday. He met Ray Reid. He's itching to meet Geno Auriemma. More than that, he's itching to meet deans and professors and admissions officials. He said he'll make it simple on us: He's all about graduating players and winning championships. Good. He understands the lay of the land, even to the point of supporting an in-state annual tournament with Yale and Quinnipiac and calling it the Tim Taylor Cup in honor of the late Yale coach.

Manuel said he was talking about two shopping areas with Cavanaugh near his home in South Windsor. He came up with Evergreen Walk and was blanking on the second …

"Buckland Hills mall," Cavanaugh interjected.

"That's a little thing that points out how much time he's spent here," Manuel said. "If we've got a strong athlete in Connecticut, we have a guy who has done well here. People can say, well, that was BC. Shoot, that's what we're trying to build here and we're not giving in on anything."

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