|Title:||Associate Head Coach|
|Phone Number:||(203) 582-3435|
|Position:||Associate Head Coach|
|Alma Mater:||Massachusetts-Lowell 1996|
Bill Riga was elevated to Associate Head Coach prior to the start of the 2014-15 season, his seventh at Quinnipiac. The Bobcats’ recruiting coordinator, Riga has played an instrumental part in Quinnipiac’s three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, which were highlighted by a National Runner-up finish in 2012-13.
Since arriving at Quinnipiac, the Bobcats have accumulated 149 wins, including 77 over the last three seasons, which is tied with Minnesota for the most in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey in that span.
Riga’s squads have consisted of five National Hockey League (NHL) draft picks, the first two Quinnipiac players to appear in a NHL game in Eric Hartzell and Bryce Van Brabant, as well as a Hobey Baker Memorial Award Hat-Trick Finalist and All-American (Hartzell), in addition to the Tim Taylor National Rookie of the Year and ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year (Sam Anas) as well as multiple All-ECAC Hockey league selections.
Academically, Quinnipiac has registered a 3.275 grade-point-average over Riga’s 14 semesters in Mt. Carmel. 2013-14 saw Quinnipiac post its highest GPA in program history, as 27 of the 28 Bobcats’ posted a 3.00 GPA or higher on their way to carrying a 3.44 team-wide cumulative GPA. At 24-10-6, Quinnipiac was ranked No. 6 nationally in the year’s final polls.
In 2012-13, the first class in which Riga served as the primary recruiter reached unprecedented highs as the Bobcats were ranked No. 1 nationally over the final three months of the regular season, while also winning the Cleary Cup for the ECAC Hockey Regular-Season Championship by the largest margin in league history. As a result, the Bobcats were the top-ranked team in the NCAA Tournament, as they made their first appearance in over a decade in the national competition. Quinnipiac won the first game and regional championship in Quinnipiac’s Division I history, reaching the coveted NCAA Frozen Four. The Bobcats defeated St. Cloud State in the national semifinal game, before losing in the National Championship Game to finish as National Runner-ups.
Riga’s college hockey recruiting prowess became evident in his first sting prior to joining Quinnipiac at Union College. While at Union from 2003 through 2008, Riga also served as the Dutchmen’s primary recruiter. As a result, Union won two ECAC Hockey championships and also advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four.
Before joining the Union coaching staff, Riga was the head coach of the Eastern Junior Hockey League’s Boston Junior Bruins from 1996 through 2003. In eight seasons as the Bruins’ head coach, Riga placed 33 athletes on NCAA Division I rosters, while two played in the NHL. In addition, Riga served as the EJHL Director of Media Relations from 2000 through 2003.
In addition to his coaching experience, Riga has also served as an instructor at USA Hockey’s Select 16’s and 17’s Festival in Rochester, N.Y. from 2009 to the present. He has also served as an ownership partner of the Rand Pecknold Power Skating Camp, from 2012 to the present, as well as the Junior Bruins Power Skating Camp, from 2002 to the present.
Riga graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, where he was a four-year letter winner on the River Hawks hockey team, with a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology. He recently completed his master’s degree in organizational leadership from Quinnipiac University’s School of Business.