Sports Information Department – 112 Dods Hall
CONTACT: Jerry Reilly,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Meredith will coach 500th game at Geneseo
FREDONIA, N.Y. -- Jeff Meredith will coach his 500th Fredonia State men's hockey game this weekend.
There was a time when he was worried he might not even make it to game No. 2.
At the start of his first season, Meredith was addressing his team in the locker room after a 4-1 loss to Plattsburgh at Steele Hall. Standing in one corner of the room was a man Meredith did not recognize.
"I figured that it was one of the players' fathers and as a new coach, I didn't want dads in our locker room," Meredith said. "As I continued to talk to the team, I whispered to my assistant, Rich Saletta, to kindly ask the gentleman to wait outside and we would be done shortly.
"I continued to talk and still noticed that the gentleman was still there. Once again I asked Rich to have (the man) wait outside."
Saletta didn't move. Instead, he informed Meredith that the man in the corner was Fredonia State President Dr. Donald McPhee.
"I got red faced and all the players cracked up," Meredith said. "I commmented that I might have just coached my first AND last college game."
McPhee apparently wasn't offended at all. In fact, he very well been waiting to congratulate Meredith for a job well done. Plattsburgh was the defending national champs and had defeated Fredonia State 25-0 the year before.
Good times were on the way. Meredith soon had the Blue Devils contending for the SUNYAC title after an inaugural 0-22 season in 1987-88. In 1994 and 1995, Fredonia State won the conference title before advancing all the way to the NCAA Division III final four.
Now in his 18th season, he'll take an all-time record of 263-192-43 into weekend action -- Friday at Brockport, and the milestone game Saturday at Geneseo.
Opening face-off is 7 p.m. each night. Both games will be broadcast by Fredonia Radio Systems' station WCVF (88.9 FM). A webcast will also be available via the Fredonia Radio Systems homepage.
Meredith's coaching totals include games against Canadian colleges and U.S. club teams. Figures kept by the NCAA -- which are posted online and published in various annuals -- include games vs. NCAA teams only.
"It only means that I have been around a long time," he said. "Certainly it is a honor to coach the Fredonia State hockey team and to do so for the last 18 years has been, well, I tell people that I have the best job in the world and I truly believe it.
"As for this weekend, the focus is on and should be on us performing to our potential on the road against two tough opponents. Last year we lost a chance for first place by losing to Brockport. This year we are still in contention for first place and we need to make sure we are ready to play appropriately.
"Once Friday is over, then we will begin to focus on Geneseo and Saturday's game."
The Blue Devils (11-7-3, 5-2-3 SUNYAC) enter the weekend in third place in the conference, two points behind first-place Oswego and one point behind Geneseo. Both teams are ranked nationally -- Oswego at No. 5, Geneseo at No. 12 -- while fourth-place Plattsburgh also received votes in the latest USCHO.com poll.