LOWELL -- Brian Akashian, a Lowell High Athletic Hall of Famer, has been hired as the Red Raiders' new hockey coach, succeeding Bill Donahue, who stepped down after 14 seasons.

The school also rehired Bob Michalczyk as its boys basketball coach. Michalczyk, a former Lowell High basketball standout, guided the Red Raiders to a 12-10 record as their interim coach this past season.

Lowell High announced the hiring of both these coaches on Friday.

Akashian, a 1996 LHS graduated, was a two-time captain of the Lowell High hockey team, twice leading the Merrimack Valley Conference in scoring. He went on to play at Phillips Exeter and Holy Cross, serving as the Crusaders' captain in 2000-01. He is the only Lowell High graduate ever to play Division 1 college hockey.

Akashian was an assistant coach at Holy Cross for nine seasons, helping to guide the Crusaders to two NCAA Tournament berths. He currently practices law in Chelmsford.

"I am excited to once again be part of Lowell High School and its hockey program," Akashian said in a statement released by the school. "I am looking forward to the challenge of working together with the administrators, teachers and student-athletes to establish a premier hockey program."

Lowell High invites its hockey community to meet Akashian next Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Tsongas Center.

In what many expected would be a down season for Lowell High, Michalczyk last season guided the Red Raiders to a 12-10 finish.


Lowell lost to No. 1 seed St. John's Prep in a Division 1 North quarterfinal.

Michalczyk was an assistant at Salem State and Lowell Catholic before succeeding Scott Boyle at Lowell High. Boyle resigned before last season.

Michalczyk, a 2000 Lowell High graduate, is in the Salem State Athletic Hall of Fame.

"I'm very excited to coach at the school that I played at, and I'm looking forward to building on last season," said Michalczyk.