Jim Tortorella completed his first season on the Harvard men's ice hockey coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2018-19. He helped guide junior defenseman Adam Fox to an incredible season as part of Harvard's defensive corps - Fox was a Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalist. Harvard defensemen finished second in the nation in points per game, averaging 3.52 points per contest. On the defensive side, Harvard allowed just 2.52 goals per game (21st, NCAA), allowing two goals or less in 20 games.
Tortorella arrives in Cambridge after enjoying success last winter as the head coach at Saint Anselm College, where he led the Hawks to their 10th Northeast-10 Conference title in his first season behind the bench.
Tortorella, who brings over two decades of experience at the collegiate level to Harvard -- including prior stints at Providence College, the University of New Hampshire and Colby College -- guided the Hawks to a 17-9-1 record, the program's highest single-season win total in over a decade. Saint Anselm closed the season on an eight-game winning streak, the second-longest in program history, and ended the season with the program's first-ever overtime win in the NE10 title game.
Tortorella spent 16 seasons at NCAA Division III Colby College (Maine) where he remains the program’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 230-138-33 (.617). At Colby, he coached 78 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Academic choices, 20 NESCAC All-Stars and 16 All-Americans, while guiding the Mules to the league’s final four 10 times.
Colby was consistently ranked in the top-15 nationally under Tortorella and won the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship in 1997 for the first time in 30 years. He was twice named the NESCAC Coach of the Year (2005-06, 2007-08) and was also tabbed the New England Sports Writers Coach of the Year in 2007-08, as well as being a finalist for the National Division III Coach of the Year three times (1995-96, 2005-06, 2007-08).
Tortorella then spent three seasons as the associate head coach at the University of New Hampshire from 2011-14. At UNH, he developed and coached two All-Americans and three Hockey East All-Star selections, including current NHL players Trevor van Riemsdyk and Brett Pesce of the Carolina Hurricanes. Tortorella also organized and coached the Wildcats' defense and penalty kill that led the Hockey East and ranked second in the country in 2013, assisted in all aspects of recruiting and developed, implemented and managed all video technology and analytic systems.
Tortorella also recently spent time as a volunteer assistant at Providence College. With the Friars, he helped with scouting and video analysis, assisted with daily pre-practice goalie development and organized and implemented daily pre-practice sessions for forwards.
In addition to his experience at the collegiate level, Tortorella has also worked with USA Hockey as the long-time Director of New England Select Teams Player Development (1997-2003, 2008-15) and has coached at two stints with the USA World Junior Team (1999, 2000). He has also been highly involved with the American Hockey Coaches Association, including serving as the association's president (2002-03). Tortorella currently holds a master certificate from USA Hockey, the organization's highest level of coaching education achievement.
Tortorella, a former standout goalie at the University of Maine, began his coaching career at Brunswick High School (1984-87) before moving on to Cony High School, where he was a two-time State of Maine Coach of the Year in five seasons. Prior to his time at Colby, Tortorella spent one season as an assistant at UNH.
A native of Concord, Massachusetts, Tortorella resides in Stratham, New Hampshire, with his wife Erin, stepdaughter Gracie and stepson Blake. He also has two adult daughters, Natalie and Caroline.