The Boston Imperials made a big splash two weeks ago in announcing a partnership with Matignon High to start a hockey academy at the Cambridge school.
The next logical step apparently was bringing in a Matignon legend as a coach.
Imperials president Dennis Franczak confirmed Tuesday the hiring of Shawn McEachern, who starred at Matignon and has spent the last 10 seasons as boys’ hockey coach at The Rivers School in Weston. McEachern will coach the Imperials’ U16 team.
“He approached us a week ago,” said Franczak, noting that McEachern already was working with the Imperials as a coach of one of the program’s half-season teams. “I said, ‘This is someone who really wants this job. He has a great background as an alum, and building that relationship [with Matignon] is really important to me.”
The 50-year-old McEachern is a 1988 graduate of Matignon, where he racked up more than 200 career points for Warrior teams that won MIAA Division 2 state championships each of his final two seasons.
“I’m very excited to join the Boston Imperials Hockey Academy at Matignon High School,” McEachern said in a release from the Imperials. “Playing hockey at Matignon for legendary coach Marty Pierce was such a big part of my high school experience. I’m looking forward to being part of the Matignon community and the Boston Imperials bringing hockey back to Matignon.”
Rivers announced in a separate release Tuesday afternoon that McEachern would step down at the end of the season. McEachern has led the Red Wings to six Eberhart championships in the Independent Schools League.
“Shawn is an amazing, dedicated coach who raised our hockey program to a whole new level during his time here,” Rivers athletic director Bob Pipe said. “He not only made sure his players were prepared for every game, but he prepared them to play hockey at the college level and beyond.”
McEachern said leaving Rivers was bittersweet, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return and be part of the hockey revival at Matignon.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Rivers,” he said. “I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. Working with my players has been the highlight of my time here.”
After Matignon, McEachern played three seasons at Boston University and then for Team USA in the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France. A draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins as a Matignon junior in 1987, he played 13 seasons in the NHL, including a pair of separate one-year stints with the Bruins. Before taking over at Rivers, McEachern served as an assistant coach at UMass Lowell, Northeastern and Salem State.
“I think he’ll do a great job. he has a great coaching background,” Franczak said. “It’s great for Matignon, and great for the Boston Imperials.”
Jim Clark can be reached at email@example.com.