MANCHESTER, N.H. – Larry Rocha '79 has been involved with the Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey program since 1975. After serving as an assistant coach for the past four seasons, Rocha has decided to return for a fifth season and will join new Head Coach Jim Tortorella's staff for 2017-18.
"I have been involved with Saint Anselm College for a long time," said Rocha. "First as a student-athlete in the late 70's as a four-year lettermen in hockey, a Dean's List student and the first ever recipient of the prestigious Senior Student Scholar Athlete of the Year, then as a Saint Anselm College parent for my daughter, Michaela, who was a star lacrosse player and Student Body President. For the past four years, I have been the assistant coach for the men's hockey program and for the past two years in have been an adjunct professor in the Economics Department. My whole life I have been either a student-athlete or a teacher-coach. Saint Anselm College has meant a great deal to me and I am glad I can continue being part of the college community as an adjunct professor and the assistant men's hockey coach."
Rocha will take on some additional duties for the upcoming season, including a role as academic liaison for student-athletes while assisting with the team's travel and budgets.
"Larry brings a diverse set of skills and a unique mind set," added Tortorella. "His connections to and passion for Saint Anselm provides our program with a distinct advantage in the development of all aspects of our student-athletes."
Rocha, who also serves as an adjunct professor of economics at Saint Anselm, has been involved with youth hockey as both a head and assistant coach since 2003.
Prior to working in youth hockey, Rocha was the head coach of the Division I varsity ice hockey team at the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass., from 1996-03. Rocha led the team to a league title in 2001 and was voted the Coach of the Year. Before that stint, Rocha made stops at the Hotchkiss School (1985-87), Lawrence Academy (1987-88) and the Brooks School (1988-96).
Rocha began his coaching career as an assistant at Penn State University from 1979-84 and also served as the Acting Head Coach. Rocha guided the Nittany Lions to the 1984 ACHA National Championship and was later inducted into the Penn State Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999.
During his time as a student at Saint Anselm, Rocha was a four-year letter winner on the men's ice hockey team from 1975-79 and was also a member of the Red Key Society. A Dean's List student, Rocha was Saint Anselm's first recipient of the now-prestigious Senior Student-Athlete Award and graduated with degrees in economics and business. Following graduation, Rocha, who also played lacrosse as a junior and senior, turned down a chance to play professional hockey to attend graduate school.
Rocha's daughter Michaela graduated from Saint Anselm in 2009 after a stellar playing career for the women's lacrosse team. Michaela captured the Female Student-Athlete of the Year award her senior season and is second in program history in both points and assists, as well as third in goals. She currently serves as the Chair of the Alumni Council at the College.
Prior to arriving on the Hilltop, Rocha captained Brick (N.J.) High School to state titles in both 1974 and 1975. Following graduation, he went on to earn his MA from Penn State in 1984.
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