Quinnipiac University hockey coach Rand Pecknold ’90 to throw out first pitch at Yankee Stadium
The Quinnipiac University men’s hockey team has played in two NCAA Division I national championship games in the past four years, so head coach Rand Pecknold ’90 certainly knows a bit about performing under pressure.
On Monday, Sept. 12, however, he’ll be trading in his clipboard for a baseball mitt when he throws out the first pitch in front of 54,000 people at Yankee Stadium before the New York Yankees play the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pecknold has been one of the most successful coaches in college hockey over the past two decades, transitioning Quinnipiac from a Division III program to a Division I national power. The program has 15 20-win seasons in the last 18 years, routinely propelling the team to the top of the national rankings. His 446 career wins currently rank sixth among all active Division I coaches.
After last season’s national championship appearance—a loss to the University of North Dakota—Pecknold was presented with the Spencer Penrose Award as the men’s Division I coach of the year.
Pecknold’s coaching career began as an assistant at Connecticut College, after an outstanding career as a student-athlete. He ranks 8th all-time in points for the Camels with 123, and holds the College’s single-season record for goals (17) and points (47) by a defenseman.
Recently, Pecknold returned to Conn to deliver the keynote speech at the annual retreat for the College’s Athletic Department, discussing team identity and recruiting. Earlier this summer, the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings brought in Pecknold for two days to discuss coaching strategy, giving him the opportunity to advise the team’s coaching staff on their various playing systems.