Article By Ashley Chase, Media Relations and Video Assistant For RMU Men’s Hockey
Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Robert Morris University Athletic Department mourns the loss of former men’s hockey associate head coach Mark Workman, who passed away on Wednesday, near his home in Minnesota, surrounded by family.
Workman, 47, was diagnosed with an advanced form of liver cancer just before the start of 2018 and had been undergoing treatments since the beginning of the year. The Colonials rallied around his fight, wearing his name on their jerseys in warmups last Friday night, and joined many Robert Morris alumni in sending him messages of support.
“Worky” – as he was known in the hockey community – was an assistant for seven years at Robert Morris, from 2009 to 2016. Workman handled many different areas of the Colonials program, including player development, scouting and game plans, all while primarily focusing on the team’s defensive units.
“We are heartbroken to hear the news of Mark Workman’s passing,” said Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley.
“Mark was loved by all at Robert Morris. Mark was one of the good guys in the hockey world and effected so many student athletes in a positive way.”
“He was well-respected among all with whom he crossed paths and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Workman Family during this difficult time.”
Workman began his tenure as an assistant coach at Robert Morris in 2009 and spent his final three years at RMU as associate head coach, ending with the 2015-16 season. Workman departed the Colonials and joined the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights as an amateur scout in the summer of 2016, where he remained for the last two years.
During Workman’s tenure, RMU reached its first NCAA tournament, winning the Atlantic Hockey postseason championship in 2014. The Colonials continued that success, winning regular season league crowns in each of the next two seasons, setting a program record of 24 wins in back-to-back campaigns in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Under Workman’s guidance, the Colonials’ defensive efforts made great strides, with the team’s penalty kill finished with the top ranking in the NCAA during the 2011-2012 season, killing 89.8 percent of the penalties committed.
Robert Morris posted a 132-99-34 record from 2009-2016 while Workman was a member of the Colonials staff.
Workman was an assistant at Brown University for six seasons, under Roger Grillo, from 2003-2009. In his first season at Brown, Workman helped guide the Bears to the 2004 Ivy League Championship.
A volunteer assistant at Minnesota-Duluth during the 2001-2002 season, Workman helped to write scouting reports for the Bulldogs, before taking the position at Brown.
From 1995-2001, Workman was the head coach at his alma mater, Division III St. Scholastica, after serving as an assistant from 1993-1995. Workman coached five All-League Players in six years and 45 All-Academic players. He also served as an NCAA representative at the 2000 and 2001 Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Quarterfinal Games, and on the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey West Region Ranking Committee from 1998-2001.
Amateur Scout, Vegas Golden Knights, 2016-2018
Associate Head Coach, Robert Morris University, 2013-2016
Assistant Coach, Robert Morris University, 2009-2013
Assistant Coach, Brown University, 2003-2009
Volunteer Assistant Coach, Minnesota-Duluth, 2001-2002
Head Coach, St. Scholastica, 1995-2001
Assistant Coach, St. Scholastica, 1993-1995
Workman was a four-year varsity player at St. Scholastica, serving as the team’s Assistant Captain as a junior and as the Captain as a senior in 1993. He earned the team’s Most Improved Player Award in 1992 and the Coaches’ Award in 1993, while playing in 105 of 107 games, including 105 consecutive contests, on the blueline.
Workman received a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from the College of St. Scholastica in 1993.
An integral part of the Minnesota hockey community, Workman coached a variety of youth programs and camps throughout Minnesota and the Midwest, and also did part-time scouting for the Chicago Steel of the USHL in the early 2000’s.
Details on arrangements will be available at a later time. The Colonials will hold a moment of silence in Workman’s memory prior to Friday’s 7:05 p.m. puck drop against Mercyhurst at Colonials Arena at the RMU Island Sports Center.
The staff at DYSTPittsburgh extends our condolences to the Workman Family.