McShane's storied coaching career comes to an end

More news about: Norwich

Compiled by staff --

One of the most successful coaching careers in the history of NCAA hockey has come to an end as Norwich head coach Mike McShane announced his retirement at a press conference on Friday.

Full video: Mike McShane retirement press conference
Norwich Athletics

McShane, a native of Wakefield, Mass., spent 37 seasons as a NCAA head coach, the final 23 of which came at the Division III level where he established and maintained Norwich as one of the nation's elite programs.

"It's been a great honor to coach here at Norwich University for 23 years," McShane said. "I've been very fortunate to coach for 46 years and end my career at a special school like Norwich. I appreciate the tremendous support we have had here right from the top down from President Schneider to Vice President Frank Vanecek and Athletic Director Tony Mariano.

I'd like to thank my assistant coaches, especially Steve Mattson, who have helped sustain the program's success by doing an excellent job recruiting. I'm looking forward to the search for a new coach and we're doing everything in our power to make sure the success of the program continues."

Overall, McShane posted a career mark of 722-341-67 which makes him the seventh-most winningest coach across all NCAA divisions. At Norwich, his 497-130-38 mark was good for a .767 win percentage which stands as second-best among coaches who have coached exclusively at the Division III level, while the 497 wins rank as ninth-most among the same group.

Under McShane's guidance, Norwich won four national championships, with the most recent in 2017 adding to a list that already included the 2002, 2003 and 2010 titles. The four championships served as capstones of a career that included 16 NCAA tournament and 12 Frozen Four appearances. 28 of the Cadets' 29 NCAA tournament wins came under the leadership of McShahe and mark a total that trails only Middlebury (34) and St. Norbert (32).

Norwich proved almost indestructible at the conference level under McShane as it won 19 of the past 20 New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) regular season championships, including a run of 17 straight from 1999-2015. Success came aplenty in the league postseason as well as the Cadets claimed 12 NEHC playoff titles with McShane behind the bench.

"Mike McShane has proven to be one of the best coaches in all NCAA divisions in the country," said Norwich University Director of Athletics Tony Mariano. "His record speaks for itself and he has elevated Norwich hockey to national prominence since his arrival in 1995. His teams have played with great intensity and sportsmanship on the ice and have done outstanding work in the classroom. All of that is due to Mike's leadership and his ability to prepare his athletes for not only hockey but life after their playing days are over. A consummate professional and outstanding coach and mentor, he will be greatly missed by all of us here at Norwich.  I wish him all the best in his retirement that he so richly deserves."

Over the course of his career, McShane amassed an astounding 25 coach of the year awards of various natures, and was named the recipient of the prestigious Ed Jeremiah Award, given to the Men's Division III coach of the year, in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2010 and 2017. McShane stands as the only coach to have won the award five times.

The program has also produced countless All-Americans, including Keith Aucoin and Kurtis McLean, both of whom also won the Sid Watson Award as Division III men's player of the year -- and both of whom eventually earned playing time in the NHL.

Prior to his time at Norwich, McShane served as head coach at a pair of Division I institutions as he led St. Lawrence from 1980-85 and Providence from 1985-94. At St. Lawrence, he posted a 95-56-6 record and helped lead the Saints to the 1983 NCAA tournamnt, while at Providence he maintained a 151-153-24 ledger and led the Friars to the NCAA tournament in 1989, 1991 and 1992.

Norwich plans to conduct a national search to fill McShane's head coaching vacancy immediately and aims to have a new coach in place by August 1. 

"Coach McShane represents everything that is great about Norwich athletics," said Norwich University President Richard W. Schneider. "A leader, a teacher and a role model to our men's hockey team for over two decades, Mike has shared his 37+ years of coaching experience and talent freely with our student-athletes, his coaching staff and the hockey community with the goal of performing to our best each and every day."

The hockey players he has recruited excel on and off the ice and are always in the top of the class academically with a 100% graduation rate. Those who have played for and coached with Mike, or have had an opportunity to interact with him, are lucky to have done so. We will miss his leadership at the helm of our perennial national championship contending men's hockey program."


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