HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michigan Tech hockey coach Mel Pearson announced today that assistant coach Bill Muckalt will be leaving the Huskies’ program to become the general manager and head coach for the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League.
Muckalt, who was hired shortly after Pearson was named Tech’s head coach in 2011, served as lead recruiter for the Huskies. Michigan Tech put together a 72-68-17 record over the last four years with a 29-10-2 mark in 2014-15 that gave the program its first NCAA Tournament berth in 34 years.
“I would like to congratulate Billy,” said Pearson, who was the 2014-15 College Hockey News National Coach of the Year. “I’m thankful for the hard work and dedication he put forth into rebuilding the Michigan Tech hockey program.
“On a personal note, I’m not only losing a great coach, but a great friend. I wish Billy continued success.”
Tri-City is located in Kearney, Neb., and a member of the USHL’s Western Conference. The Storm recorded the third-best record in the league a year ago and advanced to the Western Conference Finals.
“I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity that Mel gave me to work at Michigan Tech,” said Muckalt. “He’s been a great mentor for eight years—four as a player and four as an assistant coach.
“It’s been an honor to work with such a great staff from President Glenn Mroz to Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret to our hockey staff with Mel, Joe Shawhan, Brian Brewster, Tyler Shelast and Michael Stevens and many others.
“Thanks to our players for coming to be a student-athlete at Michigan Tech. Our success has allowed me to further my coaching career. I’m leaving a program that is in great shape and is in great hands. I will always be a great supporter and fan of Michigan Tech hockey.”
Pearson will begin searching immediately to find Muckalt’s replacement.