AMARILLO, TX – Dan McNamara was a key acquisition for the Amarillo Bulls down the stretch en route to the Robertson Cup National Championship. The gritty forward scored some big goals and was also able to provide a physical presence.
Now McNamara, joins 15 other members of this year’s Amarillo Bulls (32nd in three years) by making his NCAA hockey plans. McNamara, a native of Grand Rapids Michigan, announced his NCAA College Commitment to St. John’s University, a Division III school located in Collegeville Minnesota for this fall.
“It was definitely a huge goal of mine to go on and play NCAA hockey,” said McNamara. “These last three years have been tough, but I stuck to it and worked hard, but it feels good to be going somewhere. I honestly couldn’t have picked a better way to finish my junior hockey career.”
McNamara said once he visited the campus and met the coaches that he knew it was going to be a great fit.
“I’m excited to be going there this fall,” he said. “The school is only like five or six hours away from my home so my parents will be able to come over and see some games so that will be nice.”
McNamara joined the Amarillo Bulls in late January on a trade from the USHL’s Chicago Steel. It didn’t take long for him to fit in as was a key figure both offensively, defensively and in leadership. In 21 regular season games, McNamara netted three goals and added nine assists for 12 points and was plus eight. In the post season McNamara collected two goals and picked up four assists for six points.
“Danny was an important piece to the puzzle that we needed and we were fortunate to get the deal done,” said Amarillo Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “He was the piece of the puzzle that we were missing. He was an absolute staple to our line-up each night bringing that high energy, compete and leadership level.”
Williams said St. John’s and Dan McNamara will both benefit from this decision to play NCAA hockey.
“With him being able to go to play at St. John’s which is atop notch Division III level team, that made it to the national tournament this past year, he is enjoying the best of both worlds from an academic and hockey standpoint,” Williams added. “He will be taught by a good friend of mine in Doug Schueller who I played with at Bowling Green, and is one of my very good friends. I know Doug is excited to have him join his program.”
McNamara said he benefited from the trade from Chicago to Amarillo and credited the Bulls Coaching Staff for helping to improve his game.
“It was a great opportunity for me to come down to an organization like Amarillo with the coaching staff because they do such an unbelievable job,” he said. “They helped me improve my game immensely. I got there played well at the start and then tapered off. I really appreciate them and gave me a kick in the butt. I did everything I could to help us win a national championship.”
It was a long and winding road from Dan McNamara on his way to the Robertson Cup National Championship and the NCAA College Commitment. He spent last year in the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League in Georgetown, Ontario (near Toronto), before heading to Chicago in the USHL and then finally to the Texas Panhandle. McNamara said through it all the support of his family was key to his perseverance.
“My dad has always been a huge supporter of me no matter what I wanted to do or who I wanted to play for,” he said. “He’s never been too hard on me and I think that is something that has always helped me succeed. He has always been in my corner and when I am down he has picked me up.”
Dan McNamara joins Paul Berrafato (Holy Cross), Brady Ferguson (Robert Morris), John Rey (Robert Morris), Clint Carlisle (Army), Garret Peterson (Army), Geoff Fortman (Canisius College), Tyler Deresky (Bentley University), Hampus Gustafsson (Merrimack College), TJ Sarcona (Niagara), Tyler Rostenkowski (Air Force), Kyle Plageman (Army), and Joe Grabowski (Princeton), Blake Roubos (Lawrence University), Ryan Cole (Trinity College), and TJ Sherman (Trinity College) as Amarillo Bulls to announce their NCAA Commitments.