NORTHFIELD, Vt. – After a historic 23-year career at the helm of the Norwich University men's ice hockey program, Mike McShane announced his retirement from coaching on Friday morning at a press conference in Kreitzberg Arena.
McShane, Norwich's 10th Men's Hockey Coach, is a legendary head coach for having guided Norwich University to four NCAA Division III National Championships, with the latest coming in 2017 in a 4-1 win over Trinity (Conn.) in Utica, N.Y.
"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."
Under his guidance, Norwich won 19 of the last 20 New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) regular season titles, including an unprecedented 17 in a row that ended after the 2014-15 season. Norwich made 16 NCAA Tournament appearances and 12 Frozen Four appearances with McShane behind the bench.
He wrapped up his Norwich career winning back-to-back New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Coach of the Year honors in 2017 and 2018 to bring his total to 11. On top of leading the Cadets to the 2017 title, McShane also led the Maroon & Gold to national championships in 2000, 2003 and 2010.
Norwich won the NEHC Tournament crown 12 times total, including three in a row from 2010-2012.
During his Norwich career, he posted a 497-130-38 record. He became the Norwich program's all-time winningest coach during the 2008-09 season. Under McShane's guidance, the Cadets never posted a losing season.
"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."
A native of Wakefield, Mass., McShane graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1971 as the third-leading scorer in Wildcats' history and then he went on to earn a M.Ed. from Boston University.
McShane got his start in coaching at New Hampton (N.H.) Prep School in 1972. He led the Huskies to three Division I Prep Championships in six years and a 122-25-6 record before becoming an assistant coach at Dartmouth College in 1978. In November 2010, McShane was inducted into the New Hampton Hall of Fame.
During his two seasons at Dartmouth, the Big Green won a pair of Ivy League titles and advanced to the NCAA semifinals both years.
McShane was named the head coach at Division I St. Lawrence University in 1980, leading the Saints to a 95-65-6 record in five seasons. In just a couple of years, he turned a struggling program into a national contender. He led the Saints to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1983.
McShane left St. Lawrence in 1985 to become the head coach at Providence College. He led Providence to NCAA playoff bids in 1989, 1991 and 1992. He was named the New England "Coach of the Year" in 1989.
He left Providence in 1994 to become a consultant for the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League before coming to Norwich.
In 37 years of college coaching, McShane has received 25 "Coach of the Year" awards, including earning the Edward Jeremiah Award from the American Hockey Coaches' Association in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2010 and 2017 as the College Division "Coach of the Year."
"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."
McShane was selected as the ECAC East/NESCAC "Coach of the Year" by the New England Hockey Writers in 2017, becoming the first coach to be honored as "Coach of the Year" seven times by the organization.
Norwich University will begin a national search to fill McShane's head coaching vacancy immediately with the goal of having a new coach in place for August 1.
Norwich University Men's Hockey Coach Mike McShane
- 23 years coaching at Norwich University (46 years total). 10th head coach of the Norwich University men's ice hockey program.
- Received 25 "Coach of the Year" awards, including earning the Edward Jeremiah Award from the American Hockey Coaches' Association in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2010 and 2017 as the College Division "Coach of the Year."
- Under McShane's guidance, the Cadets never posted a losing season.
- Guided Norwich University to four NCAA Division III National Championships, with the latest coming in 2017 in a 4-1 win over Trinity (Conn.) in Utica, N.Y.
- The seventh coach in NCAA college hockey history to win 700 games.
- Under his guidance, Norwich won 19 of the last 20 New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) regular season titles, including an unprecedented 17 in a row that ended after the 2014-15 season.
- Norwich made 16 NCAA Tournament appearances and 12 Frozen Four appearances with McShane behind the bench.
- He wrapped up his Norwich career winning back-to-back New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Coach of the Year honors in 2017 and 2018 to bring his total to 11.
- McShane's teams at Norwich have won 20 games or more 16 times.
- He has also won the most Ed Jeremiah Division II/III National "Coach of the Year" Awards with five throughout his tenure at Norwich and the latest coming in 2017.
- Led Norwich to the national championships in 2000, 2003, 2010 and 2017: Norwich beat St. Thomas 2-1 in Superior, Wisconsin, to win the 2000 National Championship, which was the first national championship of any kind in school history. Norwich went on to beat Oswego State 2-1 at home in Kreitzberg Arena in 2003 and then won again in 2010 by a 2-1 score in double overtime over St. Norbert.
- Norwich won the NEHC Tournament crown 12 times total, including three in a row from 2010-2012.
- During the 2008-09 season, McShane was the Norwich program's all-time winningest coach.
- McShane won his 400th career game as a collegiate coach on Jan. 4, 2003, when Norwich defeated Trinity, 4-1. He won his 500th career game on Feb. 16, 2007, when NU beat Bowdoin, 7-4. He won his 600th career game on Jan. 27, 2012 with a 4-1 victory over Southern Maine. He won his 700th game with a 4-0 win over Castleton on Nov. 18, 2016.
- The most recognizable player McShane coached at Norwich is Keith Aucoin '01, a two-time NCAA Division III "Player of the Year" who just retired as well following a 17-year professional hockey career, which included 145 games in the National Hockey League.
- McShane also mentored Kurtis McLean '05, who was a four-time NCAA All-American at Norwich and is currently playing in Austria after a stint with the NHL's New York Islanders.
- Most recently, McShane has coached William Pelletier '17, who is playing for the AHL's Rockford Ice Hogs in the Chicago Blackhawks organization. Kyle Thomas '13 has appeared in the American Hockey League with the San Diego Gulls and the Cleveland Lake Monsters. He currently plays for the Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL. Ty Reichenbach '17 finished his first full season with the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL) in the Nashville Predators' system.
- He also coached Class of 2018 Valedictorian Braeden Ostepchuk (one of two Valedictorians he coached at Norwich), who was just named the first CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year in school history after graduating with a 4.0 GPA as a mechanical engineering major. He was a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, including back-to-back first team selections in 2017 and 2018. Ostepchuk became the fifth NU men's ice hockey player in the last nine years to win the prestigious NCAA Elite 90 Award at the 2017 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship for having the highest cumulative GPA out of all the student-athletes at the championship.
- Finished his career with 741 career coaching victories to rank seventh on the all-time NCAA list and just three wins shy from tying Bemidji State legend Bob Peters for sixth all-time.
- McShane was selected as the ECAC East/NESCAC "Coach of the Year" by the New England Hockey Writers in 2017, becoming the first coach to be honored as "Coach of the Year" seven times by the organization.