MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University and head hockey coach Grant Potulny have entered into an eight-year employment agreement, according to NMU Director of Athletics Forrest Karr. The agreement is effective immediately and extends through June 30, 2026.
Potulny’s base salary will be adjusted to $285,000 per year plus a car stipend, personal expense allowance and the potential for performance bonuses.
Potulny, who just completed his first season at Northern, is a 2018 Spencer Penrose candidate, which is awarded to the NCAA Division I men’s hockey coach of the year. He was selected the 2018 Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Coach of the Year after guiding NMU to a Top 20 national ranking, second place in the WCHA regular season and home ice for the entire playoffs, including the WCHA championship game. The Wildcats had a league record of 19-7-2 and were 25-15-3 overall, falling one game short of advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
“We are constantly striving to be among the nation’s elite programs,” said Karr. “I believe in our coaching staff and this agreement is another reflection of Northern’s commitment to continued success.”
NMU President Fritz Erickson said the campus, community, alumni and friends of the university are excited about this past season’s Wildcat Hockey success, and that private donor commitments have continued to expand to help with several hockey program upgrades and expenses.
“We were ecstatic when Grant became our coach last summer and even more thrilled with the team’s results this past year,” said Erickson. “Following the season, we became aware of interest from other schools in Grant and knew that being proactive was important. The university is committed to having the highest-caliber hockey program possible. Hiring Grant was a sign of that commitment, as is entering a long-term agreement with him.
“One of Northern’s four strategic plan outcomes is to perform, in and out of the classroom, in ways that enhance the university’s national and international prestige. We’ve said that we will invest in NMU programs that demonstrate transformational change. What we saw on the ice this year was transformational.”
Potulny, who came to NMU after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota from 2009-17, said he is honored to be Northern’s coach.
“I would like to thank President Erickson, Athletic Director Karr and the NMU Board of Trustees for their continued support of our hockey program,” Potulny said. “From day one, the university’s commitment to excellence has allowed our program to function at a high level. With this renewed support, our program is in a great position to compete at the highest level for years to come. I could not be more excited for the future of Wildcat Hockey.”
Courtesy: NMU Athletics