Owens Steps Down as CC Head Coach
Made 7 NCAA Appearances in 15 Seasons
CHN Staff Report
Scott Owens has stepped down as head coach of Colorado College after 15 seasons, it was reported today by the Colorado Springs Gazette and confirmed by CHN. Owens didn't attend today's team banquet, telling athletic director Ken Ralph of his decision just hours before.
Owens, a 1979 graduate of Colorado College, was a head coach in the USHL when Don Lucia left for Minnesota. That opened the door for Owens to return to his alma mater in 1999.
According to a news release, Owens and athletic director Ken Ralph agreed on the decision after they met for Owens' annual review.
“I have been fortunate to have had the best job in college hockey for the past 15 seasons. It is time for a new coach to enjoy working with our players,” Owens said. “I appreciate the support and encouragement I have received during my tenure and I hope the new leader of the team will be treated with the same respect. This is a tremendous institution and I am proud of what we accomplished here. I will always be a Tiger.”
Owens was 324-228-54 in that span, including a Frozen Four appearance in 2005, seven NCAA tournament appearances, and three WCHA regular-season championships.
But this season, the team's first in the inaugural NCHC, the Tigers finished 7-24-6, its worst record since Brad Buetow's final season in 1992-93. Colorado College lost to North Dakota in three games in the league playoff quarterfinals.
Assistant coach Eric Rud is a Colorado College graduate and could be considered a possible replacement. He expressed surprise at Owens' decision, and also his interest in the job.
“I think this is a great place to coach and play,” Rud told the Colorado Springs Gazette on Sunday. “It’s a place I believe in. There are enough positives in place that this could be turned around quickly.”
The other assistant, Joe Bonnett, could also be a candidate. A Western Michigan alum, he interviewed for that job in 2010.
George Gwozdecky, the long-time coach at Denver who was fired last year, is a natural choice in many people's minds, but he said last week that he wouldn't be interested. He is currently working for the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.
Owens had two years left on a contract he signed in 2011.
No reason has been given for the resignation. Owens could not be reached for comment.
Colorado College is the second school with a coaching vacancy so far this year, following Lake Superior State.