CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Bill Downey, a former professional hockey player and coach, has been named Harvard’s director of hockey operations. He will direct the daily operations of the Crimson’s men’s and women’s ice hockey programs.
Downey comes to Harvard from Penn State, where he spent two seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater. He was in charge of organizing travel for the American Collegiate Hockey Association team, ordering equipment and serving as assistant director of the Penn State Ice Hockey Camps. He also recruited players from junior hockey leagues and New England prep schools and participated on an advisory board as part of the preparation for Penn State’s launch of NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs.
Concurrent to his coaching stint at Penn State, Downey served as a head coach, scout and instructor for Selects Hockey, developing high-level youth players from the United States, Canada and Europe. He coached the East Coast and West Coast Selects teams at domestic and international tournaments and organized a six-week clinic in Pittsburgh featuring guest coach Mario Lemieux.
During the 2007-08 season, Downey was an assistant coach for the Reading Royals of the East Coast Hockey League, assisting in running practice, video analysis, opponent scouting and player development. He concurrently served as hockey director for Team Comcast and Flyers Skate Zone in Pennsauken, N.J. There he oversaw all hockey programs, clinics and camps and promoted the game in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.
Downey also served as an Atlantic scout for the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League in 2007 and since 2007 has been involved in the USA Hockey Coaching Education Program. He has organized and instructed at clinics for individuals seeking USA Hockey coaching certification.
As a player, Downey spent parts of four seasons playing for the Johnstown Chiefs, Wheeling Nailers and Reading Royals of the ECHL. He was invited to the 2004-05 Pittsburgh Penguins training camp and also attended the training camp of the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. At Penn State, he earned ACHA All-America status and helped the Ice Lions win three national championships.
Downey graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He is a member of the American Hockey Coaches Association and is a USA Hockey Level 4 certified coach. He resides in Boston.