Union College men's hockey associate head coach Rick Bennett could be headed back to the city where he played college hockey and worked as an assistant coach.
Bennett confirmed that he is a finalist for the vacant head coaching position at Brown University in Providence, R.I. Roger Grillo resigned as Brown's head coach at the end of May to take a job with USA Hockey's High Performance Program.
When asked to talk more about the interest he has in the Brown job, Bennett declined comment. Union head coach Nate Leaman also declined comment.
Bennett joined the Dutchmen as an assistant coach in 2004, after serving in the same capacity the previous five years at Providence College. He is a 1990 graduate of Providence, and was a standout player for the Friars from 1986-90. Bennett was a Hobey Baker Award finalist in 1990, and he had 50 goals and 84 assists in his career.
In 2006, Bennett was promoted to Union's associate head coach. Bennett has also served as acting head coach twice when Leaman was away as an assistant coach for the United States team in the World Junior Hockey Championships.
Outside of Union, Bennett coached the U.S. blue team to the 2007 Under-17 Three Nations Tournament championship. Next month, Bennett will be an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-17 select team in the Five Nations Cup in Germany.
There are four other known finalists for the job. The leading candidate appears to be Dartmouth assistant coach and Brown alum Brendan Whittet. Whittet is a 1994 graduate of Brown, and was a defenseman from 1990-94, playing for current Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet.
The other finalists are Boston College associate head coach Mike Cavanaugh, Massachusetts assistant coach and former Albany River Rats head coach Red Gendron and Colorado College assistant coach Joe Bonnett.
The Brown search committee is expected to start conducting interviews next week.
Grillo compiled a 120-205-52 record at Brown, and had just three winning seasons. The Bears were only 11-44-9 the last two seasons.