Wisconsin fires hockey coach Eaves after 14 years
Wisconsin has fired men's hockey coach Mike Eaves after 14 seasons, athletic director Barry Alvarez announced Friday.
The move comes after the Badgers finished an 8-19-8 season with a loss to Penn State in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday.
Eaves' teams compiled a 267-225-66 (.538) record and made seven NCAA tournament appearances, including winning the 2006 NCAA title and finishing as the runner-up in 2010. But his teams struggled the past two years, which included a 4-26-5 record in 2014-15.
Three of the last five seasons have ended with UW owning a losing record, including 17-18-2 in 2011-12.
"After last season, because of the success we've had in the past, we felt that Mike had earned a chance to get the ship righted," Alvarez said in a statement. "But now, after back-to-back seasons like the last two we've had, I feel we need a change."
"Our fans and everyone expect more. With our facilities and what we have to sell, we feel we should be at a championship level."
Eaves was hired in 2002-03 and helped the program reach the NCAA tournament in 2004 and 2005 before the 2006 national title, a 2-1 win over Boston College. The stars of that team, goaltender Brian Elliott and center Joe Pavelski, remain NHL fixtures.
Four years later, led by Hobey Baker Award-winning center Blake Geoffrion, the Badgers reached the national championship game, dropping a 5-0 rematch with the Eagles. All six defensemen from that squad have reached the NHL.