An era in Colorado College hockey came to an end Sunday morning.
Longtime coach Scott Owens, 58, resigned from a position he held for 15 seasons at his alma mater.
CC athletic director Ken Ralph and Owens agreed after the coach’s annual postseason review that it was time for Owens to step down. Owens made it official Saturday night and word became public Sunday.
"He (Owens) has a lot to be proud of,” Ralph said. "He is a heck of a hockey coach.”
The all-time winningest coach in program history ended his college coaching career with a 324-228-54 record. Other highlights include a 2005 Frozen Four appearance, seven NCAA Tournament berths (most recently in 2011), three Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season titles and two Hobey Baker winners named the nation’s top player.
Owens, who did not attend Sunday’s team awards banquet and was unavailable for additional comment, told assistants and players of his decision the night before the National Collegiate Hockey Conference program’s season-ending event.
"I have been fortunate to have had the best job in college hockey for the past 15 seasons," Owens said in a press release. “It is time for a new coach to enjoy working with our players. I appreciate the support and encouragement I have received during my tenure and I hope the new leader of the team will be treated with the same respect. This is a tremendous institution and I am proud of what we accomplished here. I will always be a Tiger.”
Ralph notified the crowd of about 250 after they sat down for the luncheon at the Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel that afternoon.
School president Jill Tiefenthaler expressed her gratitude for the program’s academic standards.
"The academic achievement of our student-athletes always comes first, and under Coach Owens our players were consistently honored for their performance as students," Tiefenthaler said. "I am grateful to Scott for keeping academics a top priority and supporting our players in their studies."
Under Owens, 15 players earned WCHA Scholar-Athlete distinction a total of 27 times from 2005-2013 and another was named in the new NCHC. This year, 17 players were named to the NCHC's inaugural academic all-conference team.
This season did not go well with the Tigers placing seventh out of eight teams with an Owens career-low 7-24-6 record; seventh worst in win percentage (.270) in program history. Owens was a four-year goalie while a student at CC.
The campaign ended in Game 3 of the first round of the league playoffs last month at eventual Frozen Four qualifier North Dakota. There were two years left on the 1979 CC graduate’s contract after signing an extension in 2011.
This leaves two head coaching jobs open in Division I college hockey; CC and Lake Superior State of the WCHA.
A nationwide search for a replacement will begin immediately, Ralph said. The new coach will be No. 14 in the program’s history.