Gardiner MacDougall joins Moncton Wildcats as head coach, says goodbye to UNB

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Gardiner MacDougall becomes new Moncton Wildcats coach
Canada's winningest university hockey coach has been named the head coach of the Moncton Wildcats. Gardiner MacDougall's appointment to the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League team came one day after he stepped down from his 24-season tenure with the University of New Brunswick. Suzanne Lapointe has the story.

Gardiner MacDougall is the new head coach of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League’s Moncton Wildcats.

The appointment comes after MacDougall announced Tuesday that he was stepping down from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Reds after leading the men’s team through a multi-decade tenure of 24 seasons — which saw the 64-year-old register the most wins out of any coach in U Sports men’s hockey regular season history.

“Seventeen hours, 22 minutes. Shortest retirement in hockey history,” MacDougall joked at a press conference Wednesday morning after being announced as the Wildcats’ bench boss.

“I’ve been very fortunate to spend 24 years in Fredericton and to make a difference. We definitely guarantee we’ll make a difference for each and everybody that’s a part of the Moncton Wildcats organization going forward.”

MacDougall, who is from Bedeque, P.E.I., is coming off the heels of a historic campaign. The Reds proved to be an invincible group in 2023-24 — going undefeated after 43 regular season and playoff games, eventually winning the U Sport men’s hockey national championship.

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“With nine national titles, he’s tied for most University Cup titles by a coach with the legendary Tom Watt. He coached UNB into a record 12 University Cup gold medal games,” read a release from the University of New Brunswick on Tuesday.

“Under MacDougall, UNB won a dozen Atlantic University Sport championships, including the last six in a row, and captured an incredible 16 consecutive Atlantic conference regular season titles.”

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MacDougall holds a record of 732 wins, 232 losses and 21 ties for a .743 winning percentage during his time with the university team.

In addition to his accolades at the university level, he most recently served as the head coach of Canada’s U-18 men’s hockey team at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship in Finland. The tournament wrapped up on May 5, as MacDougall’s group took home the competition’s gold medal following a 6-4 win over the United States.

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MacDougall’s son, Taylor, was also named as the Wildcats’ new general manager and director of hockey operations.

Taylor MacDougall played in the QMJHL from 2006 to 2011 before spending five seasons with the University of New Brunswick.

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