St. Lawrence ’84
Don Vaughan enters his 16th year as head coach at Colgate as the program's all-time winningest head coach.
Under Vaughan's tutelage, Colgate has enjoyed four 20-win seasons, two NCAA tournament berths and 14 appearances in the ECAC Hockey tournament.Additionally, he has guided the Raiders to five ECAC semifinal clashes, including his last in the 2007-08 campaign. The 2000 ECAC Coach of the Year has mentored two Hobey Baker Award finalists, three All-Americans, an ECAC Player of the Year, an ECAC Goaltender of the Year, two ESPN The Magazine Academic all-District I honorees, three ECAC Merit Medal recipients, and 40 all-ECAC Hockey selections.
In addition to his commitment to success on the ice, Vaughan has continually demonstrated his commitment to the success of his student-athletes in the classroom. During his tenure, Vaughan has graduated 99 percent of his players. Since the creation of the award in 2000, Vaughan's athletes have been named to the ECAC Hockey all-academic team 35 times.
In his 15th season, Vaughan guided the Raiders to an 18-18-6 record and a spot in the ECAC semifinals. On February 16, 2008, he tied the school's all-time win record as Colgate blanked Union 8-0. Eight nights later, he broke Terry Slater's record with his 252nd win as Colgate edged Quinnipiac 4-3 in Hamden, Conn. The Raiders enjoyed success during the campaign, among which included upsetting nationally-ranked Clarkson, which was ranked seventh in the country, in a three-game series in Potsdam, N.Y. to advance to the second round of the ECAC Championships. On November 11, 2007, the President of Colgate, Rebecca S. Chopp, announced the creation of the Donald F. Vaughan Endowed Coaching Chair for Men's Ice Hockey.
During the 2005-06 campaign, Vaughan continued to lead Colgate to new heights. His Raiders captured their second ECAC Hockey regular-season title in three years, and won 20 games for the third straight season for the first time in program history. Four of Vaughan's Raiders earned all-league recognition, including Mark Dekanich, who became the first player in school history to receive the Ken Dryden Award as the league's goaltender of the year.
Vaughan returned from a one-year hiatus to guide Colgate to 25 victories, the most in his tenure, during the 2004-05 campaign. Vaughan's skaters advanced to the ECAC semifinals for the third time in his Colgate career. The Raiders earned a berth in the 2005 NCAA tournament, where they lost to Colorado College in a one-goal game in the Midwest Regional semifinals. Colgate finished the season ranked 14th in the national polls.
That year, Vaughan earned his 200th career coaching victory with a 3-1 win against Union on Feb. 18, 2005.
After a one-year absence from post-season competition, Colgate returned to the ECAC playoffs in 2002. That season, Vaughan reached two milestones: he registered his 150th career victory in a 4-1 win against Iona on Nov. 3, and posted his 100th career ECAC win versus Dartmouth on Jan. 11.
For his accomplishments, Vaughan was recognized by the American Hockey Coaches Association as a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award, which is given annually to the University Division Coach of the Year.
Vaughan first led Colgate to national prominence during the 1999-00 season. That year, he coached the Raiders to the NCAA East Regional and a final ranking of No. 9 in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine national poll. Vaughan, who led his team to 24 victories, was honored as the ECAC Coach of the Year and received the Howard Hartman Award as Colgate's Coach of the Year.
Vaughan recorded his first 20-win season as Colgate's head coach during the 1994-95 campaign. With 20 victories, he became the first coach in school history to win 20 or more games in a season within his first three years behind the bench. For this accomplishment, Vaughan was honored by his Colgate peers with the Howard Hartman Award.
Vaughan began his coaching career as a player/coach with the Enschede Lions of the Dutch Professional Hockey League during the 1984-85 season.
He returned to the United States the following year to serve as a graduate assistant coach at St. Lawrence University during the 1985-86 campaign.
Vaughan worked as an assistant coach at St. Lawrence under Joe Marsh for the next two seasons, specializing in the areas of penalty-kill and power-play strategy. He also served as the recruiting coordinator and head coach of the junior varsity team. During his first season as a full-time assistant, the Saints participated in the NCAA tournament for the first time since Vaughan was a player.
In 1988, Vaughan helped coach St. Lawrence to the ECAC regular-season and tournament titles. The Saints advanced to the NCAA championship game, where they lost to Lake Superior State in overtime.
Vaughan left St. Lawrence in 1988 to become an assistant coach at Cornell University under Brian McCutcheon. Vaughan coached Cornell's special teams and coordinated recruiting and team travel. The Big Red reached the ECAC final four during both of Vaughan's two seasons with the program.
Following the 1989-90 season, Vaughan returned to St. Lawrence for his second assistant coaching stint under Marsh. Vaughan extended his personal string of ECAC final four appearances to six by helping the Saints to back-to-back trips to the Boston Garden. In 1992, Vaughan was part of his second ECAC tournament championship and made his third trip to the NCAA tournament. In all, Vaughan has appeared in 10 ECAC Hockey final fours and five NCAA tournaments during his 21-year college coaching career.
Vaughan played three seasons of varsity hockey for St. Lawrence from 1981 to 1984 after earning All-America status during his only season at Canton College. While with the Saints, Vaughan played in 96 games at the center position. In 1983, he helped his team to an NCAA tournament appearance and a first-place finish in the ECAC's West Region. Vaughan finished his career at St. Lawrence with 41 goals and 49 assists for 90 points.
Vaughan is a member of the American Hockey Coaches Association and is a former chair of that group's Division I Committee. He was also a member of the NCAA Rules Committee from 1998 through 2002. He currently serves on the NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Committee.
In 2004, Vaughan was presented with a Silver Puck Award by Colgate's Silver Puck Club for his work with the Raider hockey program. In 2005, he was one of two non-alumni to receive a Maroon Citation for his record of service to the university.
Vaughan stepped away from the ice during the 2003-04 academic year to serve as the university's interim athletics director. Under his leadership, Colgate achieved remarkable success. Five teams won conference championships, six coaches were honored as league coaches of the year, and the Raider football team advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA national championship game. Vaughan continues to serve Colgate in an administrative capacity as an assistant athletics director.
An active member of the Hamilton community, Vaughan hosts a hockey school at Starr Rink every summer. In addition, he is often a guest speaker at area youth hockey events.
Vaughan graduated from St. Lawrence in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He earned a master's degree in general studies from St. Lawrence in 1987.
A native of Almonte, Ontario, Vaughan resides in Hamilton with his wife, Mariel, and their children, Mark (18) and Maria (16).