Don Lucia, one of the most successful coaches in college hockey history, has been named the commissioner of the new Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
Lucia, who was named the league’s commissioner on Wednesday, will lead the seven-member conference that is set to begin play in 2021-22 season. Ferris State and Lake Superior State are joined by fellow current WCHA members Bemidji State, Bowling Green, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State and Northern Michigan in founding the revitalized CCHA.
Lucia began has 31-year coaching career in 1987 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks before moving on to Colorado College in 1993. The Minnesota native then took over Minnesota’s program in 1999 before retiring in 2018.
Lucia led the Golden Gophers to back-to-back NCAA national championships in 2002 and 2003 and his teams made five NCAA Frozen Four appearances, won 12 regular season conference titles and four conference tournament championships over 31 years.
“We are thrilled with the addition of Don Lucia as CCHA Commissioner,” said Perk Weisenburger, Ferris State Director of Athletics and search chair. “I would like to thank the members of our search committee who represented each of the seven institutions that will form the CCHA when we open play in October of 2021, as well as our consultant Dr. Morris Kurtz for his dedication and commitment throughout this exhaustive process. We had several extremely well qualified candidates who made thorough and in-depth presentations to our membership and we thank them for their interest, time and energy.”
Lucia, who ended his coaching career with a 736-403-102 record, has the most wins in Minnesota history with 457. Lucia’s win total ranks him eighth all-time in NCAA history and sixth in NCAA Division I history. He also spent time with USA Hockey, and coached the U.S. World Junior Championship team in 2013-14.
“I would like to thank all the presidents, athletic directors, and coaches who were involved in the search process for this tremendous opportunity,” Lucia said. “The seven members of the CCHA have rich hockey tradition and I am honored to lead them moving forward. I can’t wait to get started on building the foundation of the CCHA for the inaugural season in 2021-22.”
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