After numerous months of deliberation, the Ohio Bobcats have hired Sean Hogan as the newest Head Coach in the program's rich history. He replaces Jonathon Sheridan, who left the university for a new coaching opportunity after one sensational year as the 'Cats bench boss.
Hogan moves to Athens with extensive experience in the ACHA. He served as the Head Coach of the University of Arizona for the past three seasons and coached at Oakland University before that.
"I'm really excited. It is going to be a lot of fun," said Hogan. "It was about nine years ago that I first came to Athens as a coach at Oakland and I knew then that Bird Arena was a pretty special place. I always thought it was a unique venue, a unique town, and a great university with a winning hockey tradition. I'm ready to continue building something special."
While at Arizona, Hogan was tasked with re-building a program, which he did brilliantly. After just two seasons of restructuring, he lifted the Wildcats in 2013-14 to their first ACHA National Tournament appearance since 2006, captured the most regular season victories since 2008, ended a 37-game losing streak to rival (and top-ranked) Arizona State, and defeated more top ten opponents than Arizona had in 17 years.
Now, he takes over a Bobcat club that won 30 contests, advanced to the finals of the CSCHL Tournament, and graduated just a handful of seniors this past season. Despite loving his time in Arizona, OHIO's current roster is a project that Hogan is thrilled to begin managing.
"When I went to Arizona it was all about building a program. That's not the case at Ohio. We are going to take the step from good to great," explained Hogan. "Ohio has always been very tough to play against. They're fast, they use the small ice surface at Bird Arena to their advantage, just a very up-tempo group. [With me], you will notice that our team will have great habits. We will work on the small things to improve every day."
Hogan's decision to join OHIO wasn't about the program alone, however. After growing up in the Detroit area, he saw this as a wonderful opportunity to return home and reunite with those that he grew up with.
"Having the opportunity to be close to the people I grew up with was very important to me. I mean, my parents can now just drive to Athens to watch a game or hang out for the weekend," he said.
But make no mistake, hockey will be his top priority. And by his calculations, the 'Cats shouldn't miss a beat despite this third coaching change in the past three seasons.
"I had a chance to talk with some of the players and it seems to be a tight group. And that’s one of the goals they will hear us talk about a lot. We are going to be the most cohesive team in the nation. If you can do that, you can win a lot of games," said Hogan. "The process is already in place and I’m excited to get started.”