Legends to induct Hixon into Basketball Hall of Fame

  • Josh Kuckens Josh Kuckens


Wednesday, August 02, 2023

Two New England basketball coaching legends will welcome one of their own to the hall of fame.

Three-time national champion longtime UConn coach Jim Calhoun and former UMass coach John Calipari, now at Kentucky, will present Amherst College’s Dave Hixon during the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame induction ceremony Aug. 12, the hall announced.

Calipari’s time at UMass dovetailed with part of Hixon’s 42-year run at Amherst College.

Hixon never coached against Calhoun during his three-year stint at Division 3 Saint Joseph in Hartford at the end of his career from 2018-21, but he’s known the former Husky head man for most of his life. Calhoun was friends with Hixon’s father Will and knew Dave from camps during his brief time as a high school coach in Dedham in the early 1970s. They’ve been friends for more than 50 years.

Hixon is the first coach to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame after spending his entire career at a Division 3 institution. He won two national titles at Amherst to go along with 826 wins and seven Final Fours in an 11-year span.

The Class of 2023 also includes Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and Gregg Popovich in a loaded group.

Mastalerz joins UMass hockey staff

UMass hockey alum Steve Mastalerz is returning to the Minutemen to impart his near decade of coaching experience.

He’ll serve as the program’s Director of Player of Development, the team announced Tuesday. After four years in the Mullins Center crease, Mastalerz embarked on a professional career before entering the coaching ranks.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to be back at UMass with coach Carvel and staff,” Mastalerz said in a release. “Watching what this program has turned into and earned as a reputation is very exciting to be a part of. I look forward to continuing to develop the culture and overall success of the team. Being an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts and now be able to contribute to this great University is an honor.”

He most recently served as the Northeast Generals (NAHL) goalie coach and vice president and head instructor for Mike Buckley's Goaltending Development Services in North Andover.

Mastalerz signed with the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliate Manchester Monarchs after graduating from UMass and was on the roster for the team’s Calder Cup run. He stayed on as the Monarchs goaltending coach from 2016-2018.

A new NCAA rule allowing for a third paid assistant hockey coach paved the way for Mastalerz’s hiring.

“This season we will have two NHL goaltending prospects on our team, and we have another committed down the road. Steve will be a tremendous resource in our goaltenders' development and their success on the ice,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said in a release. “As a former UMass hockey player, I had built a friendship with Steve over the seven years I've been the head coach at UMass and I'm excited to work with him on a daily basis.”

Mastalerz appeared in 77 games for the Minutemen and posted a career 3.12 goals against average with an. 894 save percentage. He won five Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week awards and famously set UMass’ Division I save record with 75 in the 2015 Hockey East tournament against Notre Dame, the longest game in NCAA history.