Gophers Men's Hockey Coach Don Lucia Stepping Down

March 20, 2018 06:01 PM

The Gophers men's hockey coach, Don Lucia, is stepping down after 19 years in charge. A source confirmed this with KSTP before the Gophers sent out an official statement Tuesday afternoon.

Lucia won two national championships and leaves the Gophers with 457 wins, the most in school history. The source adds that Lucia will remain with the school as a special assistant to Athletic Director Mark Coyle through June 2019.

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A team meeting has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m., with a news conference expected around 4:30 p.m.

In a press release U of M Athletic Director Mark Coyle wrote, “Gopher Hockey is not just a college hockey program, it’s a cultural institution in the state of Minnesota, built on more than 90 years of success and tradition. Few have contributed as much to that legacy as Don. He knows how much I appreciate everything he has accomplished in his 19 years as head coach, but he and I also agree that it’s time for someone else to lead our program. From his program’s commitment to academic excellence to the banners his teams raised into in our rafters, I can’t thank him enough for what he’s contributed to the success of Gopher Hockey.”

Lucia's statement reads: “I want to thank Mark Dienhart for giving me a tremendous opportunity 19 years ago. I came to Minnesota because of the tradition, and I hoped to add to the tradition when I left. I am proud of the 14 banners that have been added to the rafters of 3M Arena at Mariucci. I am forever grateful to all the coaches, staff and most importantly the players who have worked so hard to accomplish this over the years. Most importantly to me, we did it the right way. Our players all graduate and have always represented themselves to the high standards of Gopher Hockey on and off the ice. It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to be the head hockey coach at the University of Minnesota.”  

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com for the latest.

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