Fast. Aggressive. Relentless. Those are the traits that Head Coach Jason Lammers want to be the trademark of his hockey team, and those are the traits that he will attempt to bring to Niagara University.
Coming off of his two seasons as head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United Saints Hockey League (USHL), Lammers hopes to have a real impact at Niagara.
“We see it as a revitalization and creating some excitement and getting NU hockey back to where everyone on campus would like to see it,” explained Lammers. “I’ve been so impressed with the player’s intent, their will and their desire.” Lammers also mentioned how impressed he was with the student turnout for the first home game of the year, a thrilling 4-3 victory in overtime over MAAC opponent Robert Morris University.
Coach Lammers discussed how several different factors brought him to the Niagara head coach job, but that one of the biggest pulls was how it would allow him to be closer to family.
“It checked a lot of boxes as far as being close to my mom and dad,” Lammers explained, and added that it was great to be back in Western New York where he played his college hockey at SUNY Geneseo.
Continuing to speak on Niagara as a school, Lammers included, “we believe that Niagara University is a self selecting university, and that people want to be here. So for us we’re just trying to get the right guys that fit what we want to do.”
Coach Lammers has a wealth of experience as an assistant coach at Colorado College and Ohio State University, an associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at UMass-Lowell and head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints. He is confident that he can use that experience to help build the program at Niagara.
“Life’s all about relationships and the people that I’ve had the chance to learn from and be with have been so impressive,” Lammers reflected while adding, “I believe that our staff is the best development staff in the country, and they’ve got their own set of experiences to draw from so it’s a really exciting environment to be in right now.”
As far as Lammers expectations for his team after their first season with him at the helm, his response was simple.
“Our goal right now is to improve daily. The guys have a motto here; they really believe it’s their time.” Expanding on this, Lammers also discussed how he hopes his players build strong character traits as well, “it’s about hockey being a vehicle to grow men, and if we do a good job helping these guys be great sons, at the appropriate time great fathers and great husbands then we’ve done our job.”
When asked if he and his staff had a specific timeline as for when they want the program to be back competing at the highest levels of college hockey, Lammers responded, “now.”
In terms of creating a culture during his time at Niagara, Lammers does have some expectations.
“It’s a brotherhood, and we need to have each other’s back. But when it’s time to step on the ice and time to compete, it’s me versus you. Iron sharpens iron and they make each other better.”
Coach Lammers has fit right back into the Buffalo area, and remarked on how much his family loves it, and how kind the people are and how passionate they are about their sports. He should be a huge help in rebuilding the hockey program, and a great fit here at Niagara.