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Former Niagara men’s hockey captain and women’s hockey team coach Chris MacKenzie has been named head coach for the University of Connecticut women’s hockey team.

MacKenzie goes to UConn, a member of Hockey East, after a two-year stint as an assistant coach at Ohio State.

MacKenzie, a member of Niagara’s first NCAA Tournament team in 2000, returned to his alma mater in 2009 when he became the Purple Eagles’ women’s coach. He guided Niagara to two second-place finishes in College Hockey America and a 23-31-10 overall record after inheriting a program that had won just 25 games over three seasons before his arrival.

“He has all of the talents and tools to help UConn develop their program to the level they would like it to be. He has been an asset for us at Ohio State and we will miss him dearly,” said Ohio State coach Nate Handrahan, who also played with MacKenzie at Niagara.

MacKenzie, who also served as an assistant coach at UMass Lowell for eight seasons, left Niagara prior to the start of the 2011-12 season for personal reasons.

Niagara announced it was folding the program shortly after the completion of the 2011-12 season in mid-March.