After 19 seasons as the coach of Minnesota hockey, Don Lucia is stepping down.
According to a report by Minnesota Daily’s Drew Cove on Tuesday, Lucia is expected to inform the team that he will not return next season on Tuesday afternoon.
Breaking: Don Lucia out as Gophers men’s hockey head coach after 19 years, according to multiple reports https://t.co/Kwq8Zqnn4J
— Minnesota Daily (@mndailynews) March 20, 2018
While it is unclear whether Lucia is retiring from coaching or if he is being forced out as the coach, it comes on the heels of the Golden Gophers losing their last four games of the season and missing the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the last three seasons. In addition, Minnesota has not had an NCAA Tournament win in four years.
This season, Minnesota finished with an overall record of 19-17-2 and with a Big Ten record of 10-12-2, good enough for fifth place in the Big Ten standings behind Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State.
This season marked the first time the Gophers didn’t finish first in the conference with Lucia at the helm. Prior to that, the Gophers had won the regular season conference for six straight years, which is an NCAA record.
In his almost two decades with the program, Lucia led the Gophers to back-to-back national championships in 2002 and 2003, and to five Frozen Four appearances. Also, the Golden Gophers made the NCAA Tournament 13 times and were eight-time conference champions with Lucia.
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