Hockey's roots run deep for BSC bench boss
Some people might say that Nick Carriere has hockey in his blood.
Men’s ice hockey head coach Carriere was born in Brampton, Ontario, and moved to Mississauga shortly after, where he lived for the first three years of his life.
After this, his family moved to downtown Montreal until he was seven, before moving north of Montreal. Carriere had a very athletic youth; in Montreal, he was largely involved in skiing and snowboarding in the winter. He also played baseball during the summer.
“I was really focused on hockey,” he said.
He played hockey on a regular basis throughout his youth. His father Larry – a former NHLer who spent parts of seven seasons playing in the NHL, including 207 games for the Buffalo Sabres – never pressured him into playing hockey.
“I had plenty of opportunities,” he said. “We had a rink in the backyard, and I played on other outdoor rinks in Canada.”
Carriere said there was a point between the ages of 11 and 13 when he quit skiing, and started snowboarding. Success in snowboarding led him to allow hockey to go to the side for a while, but he said it was always there.
When he was 14 or 15, Carriere and his family moved to Buffalo. Since Buffalo has very few hills for skiing, Carriere began focusing more on snowboarding and hockey.
“Hockey is something that’s a big part of me,” Carriere said.
Carriere played junior hockey in Canada while attending high school in Buffalo, and went on to attend Niagara University, graduating in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in commerce.
After playing one year of professional hockey, he had various opportunities to play overseas in Germany. However, as an in-your-face grinder type of player, Carriere said he wasn’t the type who scored a lot of goals and therefore, the money wasn’t great.
Carriere then received an offer for the assistant coach position at SUNY Fredonia. Just days after interviewing, he locked up the position, and ended up coaching a team that included three players who were older than he was.
In 2005, Carriere was hired at Buffalo State. He was named SUNYAC Coach of the Year that inaugural season, and has mentored nine All-SUNYAC players since.
Carriere still plays hockey once in a while, though most of his time nowadays is focused on the Buffalo State team. During the season, there are practices and games, while the offseason involves more focus on recruiting and the fitness of returning players.
Occasionally, he plays among other Buffalo State staff when they rent out the ice rink at the Sports Arena.
According to the Buffalo State athletics website, Carriere has more than 10 years of experience teaching at various hockey schools. He has worked for the Can/Am Hockey Schools, the European Development Camp and the Buffalo Sabres Hockey School. Carriere also served as an assistant coach for the Western Team in the 2007 Empire State Games, where the team won a gold medal. He also acted as assistant coach in the 2003 Eastern College Division Senior All-Star Game.
When he’s not coaching, Carriere enjoys being active, such as playing racquetball.