Updated: December 19, 2011 at 12:00 am
Scott Owens has made it clear over the years that coaching Colorado College ranks as his dream job, that he doesn’t want to leave anytime soon. Now, he can comfortably stay put.
CC announced a contract extension Monday for Owens – a reward for a career in which Owens has lifted the Tigers to seven NCAA Tournament berths, three Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season titles and a .616 winning percentage in 13 seasons.
As is standard at a private school, CC didn’t make financial terms of the new deal public, nor did it reveal the length of the revamped pact, although CC athletic director Ken Ralph called it a “long-term contract” for Owens, whose prior contract lasted through the 2012-13 season. CC assistants Joe Bonnett and Eric Rud are working under separate contracts.
“It is sort of a reward. I think the school felt that way,” said Owens, whose 292 wins are the most in CC history. “There are things to be gained from continuity. We’ve had some successes here. But we’re still looking to improve and still looking to move forward.”
The No. 5 Tigers (11-5) are on pace for the 23 victories Owens, 55, has averaged since he returned to Colorado Springs from the U.S. Hockey League. And they’re positioned for the switch into the recently formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference in 2013, with Owens selling recruits on the two Hobey Baker Award winners and the 15 All-Americans at CC since 2000, as well as the 17 WCHA scholar athletes in the past four years.
Owens said his contract extension is “reassuring to our current players. It’s reassuring to our incoming recruits and future recruits. It’s also advantageous making the transition to the new league. … It makes sense for everybody involved, and I’m very happy and very pleased. It’s my alma mater and a place where I want to be, so it’s a good thing.”
Ralph said finalizing a new contract with Owens before the end of the season is “a great deal for him, and I think it’s a great deal for the school. … With recruiting happening so far out, you want to make sure that you have a coach under contract and that the coaches can go on the road feeling confident talking to families about stability in the program.”
“I don’t think there was ever a question of whether Scott was going to continue or not,” Ralph added. “This was as much procedural as anything. Scott is comfortable enough in his success here and comfortable enough with the environment here that he didn’t need a contract. He would have been happy just going along. But the peace of mind that comes with having a contract and having things spelled out is important. He has earned that.”
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