Rider club ice hockey coach named to national Division II Select Team

Sean Levin ’06, ’08 will lead team during the Student Hockey Challenge in October
Lauren Minore

The head coach for Rider's club ice hockey team is headed to Russia.

Sean Levin ’06, ’08, the director of Rider's College of Continuing Studies, has been named an assistant coach of the American Collegiate Hockey Association's (ACHA) Men's Division II Select Team, which will play in Barnaul, Russia, this fall.

Levin will help lead the 22-member team during the Student Hockey Challenge from Oct. 1-6. The event is designed to bring teams from Russia, Europe, Asia and the United States together to promote high-level ice hockey competition, cultural enrichment and international relations between students and staff from around the world.

“Having the chance to represent the ACHA, as well as the country, is a tremendous honor,” he says.

The ACHA team leaves for Russia on Sept. 29 and returns Oct. 7. Although it is a short trip, Levin is still focused on the Broncs he is leaving behind. Rider's club hockey team allows students to compete against teams such as Rowan, Penn State, Army, Liberty and Wagner.

“Unfortunately, I will be missing a few practices and games,” he says. “It's a bittersweet opportunity, since I hate missing Rider games, but we have a great staff and leadership core that will ensure we're prepared.”

Although the only Rider representative, he wasn’t the only Bronc to be invited to join the ACHA team. Senior sports management and management and leadership major Justin Tiso was also selected to be a part of the team, but declined the invitation.

“Tiso made a difficult decision to not play on this team, but rather to focus on his academics as well as remain with the Rider team," Levin says. "I truly believe Tiso is the best player in the country. As much as I would love to have him join me in Russia and represent Rider on a global scale, I'm just as thrilled that he made a mature decision to stay back and ensure he stays on top of his studies, as well as be there for his Rider teammates.”

Tiso credits Levin for his growth in the sport, but most importantly, for his support on and off the ice.

"It was a dream of mine to follow in the footsteps of my previous teammate, and now, Assistant Coach Chris Johnson who went on this trip a few years back, but with a heavy academic workload, [I felt] it was best to stay back with my team," he says. "I know coach Levin will represent Rider well as he always does. It's not only a great opportunity for him and this hockey program, but also for the university."

Ice hockey has always been a part of Levin’s life. 
“I've been playing hockey for as long as I can remember,” he says. “I was on the ice at as soon as I could walk and having an older brother and father who played made it easy to fall in love with the game.” 
Levin’s first coaching role was as an assistant coach for Rider’s team for four years beginning in 2007, before taking over as head coach for the 2011-12 season.  
“This season marks my eighth year as head coach and my 12th year in total behind the bench,” he says. “Prior to coaching at Rider, I played five seasons as a Bronc.”
Levin feels his coaching experience at Rider has prepared him for coaching at the national level. 

“We compete against some of the top teams in the country,” he says. “This forces every player and staff member to be at their best at all times. I've been lucky enough to be surrounded with a great staff, players and alumni who all played a part in our success over the years.”