Tom Carroll is entering his 18th year as the head coach at New England College in Henniker, continuing to add to his reputation as one of the more successful Division 3 coaches in the region.
A native of Edina, Minn., Carroll played at the University of Wisconsin in the early 1980s under legendary coaches Bob Johnson and Jeff Sauer, playing on two national championship teams and also competing in baseball. After graduation, he earned his Master’s degree from the Mendoza School of Business at the University of Notre Dame.
Carroll spent several seasons as the top assistant coach at Notre Dame, where he recruited and coached 19 NHL draft picks and six players who participated in the World Junior Championships.
Following a stint coaching in Des Moines of the USHL, Carroll arrived in Henniker prior to the 2002-03 season and immediately made an impact, leading the Pilgrims to a 20-6 record and the ECAC East championship.
In 17 seasons at NEC, he has compiled a record of 241-170-43, including trips to the conference postseason every year, five trips to the conference championship game, and an NCAA Tournament bid and trip to the Division 3 Final Four in 2005, when he was named runner-up for the AHCA National Coach of the Year award.
The Pilgrims are now consistently ranked in the USCHO.com top 20 teams in all of Division 3 hockey.
During his tenure at NEC, Carroll has coached four All-American selections, 38 All-conference selections, three Rookies of the Year and three Goaltenders of the Year. His players have also excelled in the classroom, boasting program-record numbers of ECAC East/NEHC All-Academic Team honorees.
An active member of the hockey community, Carroll has coached in the USA Hockey Development program for several years, and recently authored and published “Hockey’s Greatest Drills for Great Practices,” a popular coaching manual for all levels of hockey.
Some of his greatest accolades have come in recent seasons.
In 2016-17, Carroll led the Pilgrims to their best season in a decade with a 19-8 record. The team made it to the NEHC championship game, and goalie Brett Kilar earned All-America honors.
The 2017-18 season was highlighted by defeating reigning national champion Norwich. In 2018-19, the Pilgrims set a program record for the longest unbeaten streak in school history. Stretching from Nov. 20, the date of a 3-0 win at Becker College, until the team fell to Norwich on Feb. 8, NEC was not beaten for 16 games.