October 19, 2011 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Lucia Gets Contract Extension

CHN Staff Report

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota coach Don Lucia has agreed to terms with the school on a contract extension that will take him through the 2014-15 season, putting to rest specualation about his immediate job security.

“Don is a championship caliber coach and is deserving of this extension,” said Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi. “He has led the University of Minnesota to two national titles and recently battled through a significant illness. He is now totally healthy and fully committed to Minnesota. I believe Gopher Hockey to be the premier program in the country and Don is the right man to continue to lead our student athletes.”

Lucia won back-to-back national championships with Minnesota in 2002 and 2003. He is in his 13th season behind the Gopher bench, where he has a 294-159-53 record at Minnesota. The Gophers are off to a 4-0-0 start this season, the team's best since their 2001-02 campaign.

“I want to thank president Eric Kaler and director of athletics Joel Maturi for having confidence in me to lead the Gophers for many years to come,” said Lucia. “Our goal every year is for Minnesota to be a championship team, and we have been able to achieve the ultimate success twice since I have been here. Some years we come closer to reaching our goals than others, but I am confident that we are headed in the right direction.”

Minnesota hasn't made the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons, the longest stretch since 1998-2000, the last year of that being Lucia's first season with the Gophers.

Prior to Minnesota, Lucia, a Notre Dame graduate, coached at Colorado College and Alaska-Fairbanks.

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