Paluch Steps Down at Bowling Green
CHN Staff Report
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio Bowling Green head coach Scott Paluch has stepped down from his position, effective immediately, to accept an opportunity with USA Hockey. BGSU assistant coach Dennis Williams, who was the head coach at Div. III Neumann for three seasons (2003-06), will serve as interim head coach for the 2009-10 season.
Paluch will be a regional manager for USA Hockey’s new American Development Model. The American Development Model, with support from the National Hockey League, is a nationwide initiative that was announced by USA Hockey in January. It will provide local associations across the country — for the first time ever — a blueprint for optimal athlete development that focuses on age-appropriate training utilizing long-term athlete development principles.
“Scott has given everything he has to BGSU hockey and we all wish him the best,” said Director of Athletics Greg Christopher. “He’ll bring a wealth of experience to USA Hockey and I know that he’ll be following the Falcons. Scott has been a first-class representative of BGSU Athletics and our hockey team reflects that as well.”
Paluch completed his seventh season heading the Falcon hockey program in 2008-09. The Chicago, Ill. native and former BGSU All-American defenseman (1984-88) compiled an 84-156-23 record heading the Falcon program.
His best season came in 2004-05 when the Falcons posted a 16-16-4 record, the first season of .500 or better by the program in nine years. BG was fifth in the CCHA that season earning a first round home series in the conference playoffs for the first time in 10 years. The only other time in Paluch’s tenure BG hosted a first round CCHA playoff series was in 2007-08 when the Falcons posted an 18-21-0 overall record, the most wins by a Falcon hockey team since 1994-95, and 13-15 mark in league play.
“I am very excited to be joining USA Hockey and getting in on the ground floor of this new initiative,” Paluch said. “I look forward to assisting in the development of players in the United States.
“This was a tough decision, but an opportunity I could not pass up. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to be the head coach at Bowling Green State University. I have enjoyed every minute being back heading the program that will always be a special place for my family and me.”
Williams, 29, who completed his first season as an assistant coach in the BGSU program last year, resurrected the program at Neumann where the Knights’ record improved from a 3-21-1 mark the year before Williams arrived to 17-5-5 in his final season. His final two seasons at Neumann were the best in the program’s history to that time. Williams’ teams at Neumann compiled a 35-32-8 record in his three seasons.
Williams, 29, built a winning tradition at Neumann that culminated in March with the Knights capturing the Div. III national title led by a senior class that was recruited by Williams in his final year.
“A seamless transition is critical given where our program stands right now,” said Christopher. “Having a coach with the track record and experience that Dennis brings to the table helped make this move possible. Dennis has a passion for BGSU Hockey and he’s proven that he can recruit and build a program. I am excited to watch our 2009-10 team with Dennis at the helm.”
Williams, also a former BGSU player (1997-2001), was an assistant coach at Alabama-Huntsville (2007-08) for one season before coming to BGSU. Previously, the Stratford, Ontario, native has served as a volunteer assistant at BGSU (2002-03) and as an assistant coach at Utica College (2003-04).
“I want to thank Scott Paluch for giving me the opportunity to return to Bowling Green and the CCHA,” Williams said. “I am looking forward to having the opportunity to lead the Falcons for the 2009-2010 season. As an alumnus, it is a great honor to be able to coach at your alma mater. I am very excited about the challenge and I would like to thank Greg Christopher for providing me with this opportunity.”
BGSU will begin the search to fill two assistant coaching positions under Williams immediately.