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Northeasterns’ new athletic director is Jim Madigan, a Huskies hockey legend

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Northeastern has mentioned Jim Madigan, a hockey legend to the Huskies as a coach and player, to serve as the new athletic director.

Portrait of Jim Madigan

Jim Madigan, Northeastern University’s new athletic director. Photo by Northeastern Athletics

I am humbled and honored to be our next athletic director, Madigan said. I see this role as a culmination of all my experiences here on the northeast campus.

Madigan takes over an athletic division in the Northeast that ranks in the top 15 nationally for all-around excellence among Division 1 schools that do not participate in football.

Within the athletics department, there is a strong administrative team and many quality coaches that I will work with to see where we can continue to grow and develop our programs, Madigan said. Most importantly, there are quality student athletes who are academically, athletically and socially motivated to be a part of the Northeastern community.

As head coach of the men’s hockey team Madigan (174-139-39) has taken the Huskies to the for the past ten years last three Beanpot titles, as well as three NCAA tournaments and two Hockey East titles.

Madigan played for the Huskies from 1981 to 1985 and helped Northeastern to an NCAA Frozen Four appearance in 1982. After serving as an assistant coach of the Northeast from 1986 to 1993, he moved to the NHL for 19 years as a scout for the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins as they contributed to the Penguins Stanley Cup title in 2009.

He has contributed to all but one of the Northeasterns’ seven Beanpot titles as a player (two), assistant coach (one), and head coach (three). The Huskies ended their three-decade Huskies drought in the Beanpot in 2018, with Madgian exiting the program on a run of eight winning seasons.

As we began the process of searching for a new athletic director, it became clear to many of us that the best candidate here was already at Northeastern, demonstrating his deep dedication to our student athletes over a distinguished 30-year career, he wrote. Ken Henderson, chancellor and senior vice president for learning, in a letter announcing the appointment of Madigans.

Madigan acknowledged that he faces a bittersweet transition when leaving hockey, the sport that has dominated his life since he was a 5-year-old growing up in Canada.

Craig Pantano, named top goalkeeper of the 68th Beanpot, and Chloe Aurard, MVP of the 42nd Womens Beanpot, celebrate the Huskies wins, the first time in 32 years that Northeastern has won both championships.  Photos by Matthew Modoono and Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

But it’s made easier by the fact that Coach Keefe and Coach McLaughlin have been part of this program, Madigan said. They bring continuity and consistency.

Madigan said he appreciates the balance of the athletic experience in the Northeast, which includes academics and career development alongside the focus on sports.

Six Northeast teams qualified for the national postseason tournaments last year, led by the women’s hockey team heading for the first time in the finals of the NCAA Championship Game. These competitive successes were complemented by a cumulative average of 3,405 points among Northeastern student athletes during the recent spring semester. The GPAs of the past two semesters are among the three highest ever for the Northeasterns athletic division, having delivered 27 consecutive semesters of 3.0 GPA or higher.

In addition, many northeastern student athletes aim for co-ops in addition to their academic and athletic pursuits.

Northeastern does athletics the right way, Madigan said. We are competitive, we want to excel in everything we do. But it comes at the cost of ensuring that our student-athletes are challenging themselves and are academically and socially motivated to be part of the community on campus and in the Greater Boston area.

Madigan’s Northeastern experiences complement his hockey career as he takes on his new role. He has served as the university’s assistant director of physical factory services, director of athletic development, and associate dean and director of development in the DAmore-McKim School of Business).

his daughters, Kelly and Kate ran the track at Northeastern, graduating in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Kate Madigan currently works in the NHL as the New Jersey Devils director of pro scouting.

I started on this campus 40 years ago, Madigan said. I look at my daughters, who had great experiences as track athletes. And I’m thrilled to now be able to play a part in all of our athletic programs and ensure that all of our student athletes have a first-class experience.

Madigan said a succession plan for the men’s hockey program leadership revolves around Jerry Keefe, the associate head coach who was Madigan’s first staff member, and Mike McLaughlin, an assistant coach who has worked alongside Madigan for the past seven years.

Madigan replaces Jeff Konya, who is leaving to become athletic director at San Jose State.

Konyas three years in Northeastern culminated in receiving the Athletic Director of the Year award by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. He helped build new partnerships with Under Armour, NESN and TD Garden.

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