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New Coach Has Plenty of Admirers

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, April 20, 2006

TROY - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hockey players don't know much about Seth Appert.

They're excited, though, both current and former players, about the new head coach.

Standout right winger Kirk MacDonald red-shirted during this past season as he recuperated from a bout with testicular cancer and several related surgeries.

He can't wait for October.

"It's real exciting right now," MacDonald said. "I'm real excited. It's a new beginning here. I don't know a lot about the guy but everybody who spoke of him, or met him, says he's an outstanding coach, great recruiter."

"Obviously, he's a winner, he's coming from a great program, that kind of speaks for itself," MacDonald added. "Anybody who says he's won back-to-back national titles (as recently) as two years ago, that immediately makes you listen. He recruited most of the guys on that team and that's probably a big reason why he's here."

MacDonald says he was most impressed with the way Appert "relates to the guys. That's what it's about, being able to relate to the guys and motivate. It's going to be fun next year."

Appert was hired when former Los Angeles Kings coach Andy Murray turned down the job.

Former Rensselaer captain Ben Barr played for Murray in prep school and admits to being "biased."

"It would have been really exciting to see Andy come in," Barr said. "But he's (Appert) a fantastic coach. I know several guys who played for him. You can't complain about him."

"I know a couple of guys who played for him (at Denver)," said former captain Scott Basiuk, "and they spoke highly of him."

Basiuk also knows Murray and was excited about that prospect.

"But they've got to get some stability and hopefully he's (Appert) the guy," Basiuk said.

Defenseman Steve Munn, now with the American Hockey League's Norfolk Admirals, also called around when he heard of the move.

"Got some good reports on (Appert)," Munn said prior to the Admirals' playoff game in Hershey Wednesday night. "Hopefully he can bring some changes in the things that have been lacking."

"Dan Fridgen is a good man," Munn added, "but things began to slip in the past few years. It's tough to recruit when you don't really have the university's support. They need to do some better recruiting and put some more wins in the column."

Brad Farynuk was an Engineers captain throughout this past disappointing, injury-plagued 2005-06 season. Appert's hiring takes some of the bad taste out of his mouth.

"I think obviously, it's an exciting time for the guys," Farynuk said. "It's a clean slate and the guys have something extra to work for now."