FOND DU LAC - Clay Van Diest has been selected as the 10th head coach for the Marian University men's NCAA hockey program, as announced by Interim Director of Athletics Tony Draves.
"We're very excited to welcome Clay to the Marian athletics family," said Draves. "He was impressive in every phase of the interview process, and I can't wait to see the impact he has on our program and Marian University as a whole.
No stranger to the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA), Van Diest becomes the bench boss for the Sabres after serving the past two seasons as an assistant at MSOE. On the ice, Van Diest ran all defensive systems for the Raiders including the penalty kill. He also served as the video and recruiting coordinator for the program. In his first season at MSOE in 2020-21, a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Raiders would post their first winning season since 2016-17 boasting a 10-7-2 ledger. MSOE was able to qualify for the NCHA Harris Cup Championship marking the first time since the 2012-13 season the Raiders reached the final stage of the tournament. MSOE boasted the top penalty-kill unit in the NCHA as well at 86 percent and allowed just six power-play tallies. This past season, MSOE qualified for the NCHA Harris Cup Tournament and once again had a double-digit win season.
"I want to start by thanking Coach Draves and the rest of the Marian athletic department for this opportunity," said Van Deist. "I am humbled by the chance to be a part of the history and success of the Marian University program, and cannot wait to get to campus and begin with this group."
Van Diest began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater, St. Norbert, as an assistant for the women's hockey program. He would serve as the recruiting and video coordinator at SNC and was in charge of all defensive systems.
A highly-decorated student-athlete at St. Norbert, Van Diest helped lead the Green Knights to a national championship in the 2017-18 season, and a national runner-up finish in 2015-16. Van Diest played in 106 games during his career scoring five goals with 16 assists as a defenseman for the Green Knights. He was just as successful off the ice where he earned three AHCA Academic All-American awards. Along with his national championship in 2017-18, Van Diest was also named the NCAA Elite 90 award recipient, given to the student-athlete with the top grade-point average at the Frozen Four.
Van Diest double majored in English and secondary education at St. Norbert graduating in 2019 and is currently pursuing a master's degree in education and athletic leadership at Dickinson State University.