University of Minnesota Athletics Director Mark Coyle and Head Coach Don Lucia have announced that Lucia will step down as Minnesota’s head men’s hockey coach, pending the approval of the University’s Board of Regents later this week. Coyle and Lucia have agreed that he will remain with Gopher Athletics as special assistant to the athletics director through June 30, 2019.
Lucia steps down after 19 years leading one of most decorated programs in college hockey history.
His 457 wins are the most in program history, an average of more than 24 wins per season over his tenure at Minnesota. Since taking over as head coach in 1999, Lucia’s teams have raised 14 championship banners. His Gophers teams claimed eight regular-season conference crowns, as well as four conference tournament titles. Lucia guided five Gopher teams to the Frozen Four and won back-to-back national championships in 2002 and 2003.
During his 31-year career as a Division I head coach, Lucia won 736 career games – ranking eighth all-time in NCAA history. He holds a 736-403-102 career coaching record, including a 457-247-73 mark at the University of Minnesota.
Lucia says he hopes a new hire will add a punch to the future:
In the classroom, his Gopher teams delivered results as well. The team’s collective, cumulative GPA was 3.15 following this year’s fall semester, and has been above 3.0 for more than six straight years. The team GPA for the fall semester alone was 3.31, the highest mark on record for the program. The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate score for the program has been a perfect 1,000 for several years. Throughout his head coaching career, Lucia had 206 all-conference academic honorees.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)