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RPI Feeling the Loss of Ex-coach Cahill

Players to Attend Former Assistant Coach's Funeral Before Season Opener at Boston University

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, October 10, 2003

TROY - Bill Cahill recruited defenseman Scott Basiuk to play hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The Prince Albert, Sask. native and future RPI captain made up his mind before Cahill left his home.

"I didn't even visit (RPI)," Basiuk said Thursday before boarding a bus for Cahill's wake Thursday night and funeral (today) in Worcester, Mass.

"I didn't need to (visit)," Basiuk said. "I just based my decision on what I saw in BC (Bill Cahill), what I heard of the school from him and the way he conducted himself. I figured if they have a guy like him back there, there must be more like him and it must be a great place. That's pretty much what I based my decision on."

"He was an outstanding guy," Basiuk said.

Cahill, a former Rensselaer men's assistant coach and head women's coach for the past three seasons, died suddenly of a heart attack on Saturday night at age 53.

Following Thursday night's wake, the Engineers will attend today's funeral, then have a light skate at Boston University's Walter Brown Arena.

The Engineers open the season at BU on Saturday night (7) - whether or not they're ready - then head down to Providence College Sunday night at 7.

"You have to keep things at an even keel, just like BC always did," Basiuk said. "This sucks and he was a great friend. But we have a job to do and that's what he would have wanted us to do anyway. That's the way we have to look at it. We have to block it out. Stuff like this happens in life."

Cahill recruited most of RPI's current seniors during the 1999-2000 season, including center Ben Barr.

"Very difficult times," said Barr, who like Basiuk, is an Engineers co-captain. "(Cahill) was a very high-quality man."

"We shouldn't have any problems finding motivation," Barr said. "We certainly have (someone) to dedicate our season to."

Both the men's and women's teams boarded buses for Worcester at Houston Field House late Thursday afternoon, a day early for the men's team's road trip.

Getting away early was a good idea, the players felt.

"I think it is," Barr said. "Things have been kind of rough around here. It's been a turbulent preseason here."

Last July, Tom Cavosie, the Engineers' equipment manager and father of former players Marc and Eric Cavosie, drowned while on a fishing trip in Newfoundland.

"It's been pretty somber around here for a while," Rensselaer associate Athletic Director Kerry Quinn said as she greeted RPI women's players.