Holy Cross men's hockey

Holy Cross men's ice hockey has a new coach on staff, and its a former assistant at Williams College.

Ex-Williams assistant Sorenson joins Holy Cross

{child_byline}By Howard Herman, The Berkshire Eagle{/child_byline}

Seven months ago, former Williams College men’s hockey assistant coach Eric Sorenson began his adventure to build a Division III program from scratch.

Things, however, can change quickly in college athletics.

Sorenson, who spent two seasons working for Bill Kangas at Williams, had taken a job last November as Rivier College’s first head coach. Now, in an abrupt change of pace, Sorenson has left Rivier before coaching his first game to take a job as an assistant at Division I Holy Cross.

Sorenson and Caston Sommer were hired by new Holy Cross coach Bill Riga in July. They are both on campus in Worcester and have begun recruiting.

The former Eph assistant, who was a goaltender for Division III Western New England, said the decision to leave Rivier was a very difficult one.

“I had recruited, at the time I left, we had 35 guys committed to the program at Rivier and committed to a vision that I was talking to them about, in the school itself and the education itself at Rivier, everything was moving along very well,” Sorenson said. “I was very happy with the progress we made. We had built a balanced schedule. To make that decision was not an easy one.”

Riga came to Holy Cross after 13 seasons as Rand Pecknold’s top assistant at Quinnipiac. Before that, he was an assistant coach at Union College. Riga played for UMass Lowell.

Sorenson said pandemic-related issues got him on Riga’s radar screen.

“During the COVID times, everyone did a lot of professional development. One of the things I did was co-host a weekly Zoom last summer for about 10 weeks with Steve Needham from Bentley and Rand Pecknold,” Sorenson said. “Coach Riga, obviously coming from Quinnipiac, that was kind of the connection and how he got my information and how he got to know about me. He obviously called Coach Kangas after that as well.”


Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6253. On Twitter: @howardherman


Howard Herman can be reached at  hherman@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6253. On Twitter: @howardherman


Howard Herman is a sports columnist at The Berkshire Eagle. The dean of full-time sportswriters in Western Mass., he has been with the Eagle since 1988, and is a member of the New England Baseball and Basketball Hall of Fame.