Colorado College hockey coach Mike Haviland

Colorado College coach Mike Haviland, back, talks to his players during a timeout after giving up two early goals to Denver in the first period of an NCAA hockey game in Denver on Nov. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Mike Haviland won’t be coaching at Robson Arena, which he was on the campus committee for and frequently championed.

Not for Colorado College, not next season.

After seven straight losing seasons, CC Athletic Director Lesley Irvine announced Saturday night that Haviland had “decided to move on” after reaching an agreement Friday.

“We really believe that we have the opportunity here to compete for championships, to finish in the top half of the league and to be competitive in the best hockey league in the country,” Irvine told The Gazette on Saturday.

“As we go out to look to replace (Haviland), that’s where I stand as far as what I think we can do here.”

Haviland’s overall record as Tigers coach was 67-153-22. He went 35-111-20 in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play. The team won one playoff series.

He signed a multiyear contract extension in 2018, but terms were not disclosed at the time. Irvine, who took over in June 2019, would not comment on the “personnel situation.”

“We reached a mutual agreement,” Irvine said.

Irvine was part of a group that met with the team Saturday and provided an update. A national search for Haviland’s replacement will begin immediately.

“I will be clearing my schedule here. The process starts now,” Irvine said.

“We'll work as quickly as we can.”

Haviland became the program’s 14th coach May 9, 2014. He arrived from the American Hockey League, where he’d been coach of the Hershey Bears in 2013-14. He was an assistant coach for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks from 2008-12 and won a Stanley Cup with the team in 2010.

During his tenure, several former Tigers went on to sign professional contracts, including sophomore forward Josiah Slavin this week. Senior co-captain Zach Berzolla came in with the same ambition.

“Mike always understood that. He may be harder on me sometimes than others, but he knew I could take it and he knew it would make me better,” Berzolla said. “I appreciate everything he’s done for me, and that goes for (assistant coaches) Leon (Hayward) and R.J. (Enga) as well.”

Haviland was brought back in the spring of 2020 after the Tigers’ win total dropped by six.

“I want to be careful — it’s not a rebuild of a rebuild,” Irvine said at the time. “Coach has been here for six seasons. He knows that this is his team. But I do think that we’ve identified some things that we can have some quick change and some high impact in terms of outcomes. So that’s the goal.”

After he was assured of a seventh year at the helm, Haviland told The Gazette it was a “big year.”

The Tigers stumbled to a 4-17-2 record in 2020-21, during which the team shut down due to positive COVID-19 tests three times.


CC records and playoff results under Mike Haviland

2020-21: 4-17-2, lost single-elimination first game to St. Cloud State

2019-20: 11-20-3, postseason canceled

2018-19: 17-20-4, beat Western Michigan in 3 games, swept in Frozen Faceoff

2017-18: 15-17-5, fell to Denver in first round in 3 games

2016-17: 8-24-4, swept by Denver in first round

2015-16: 6-29-1, swept by North Dakota in first round

2014-15: 6-26-3, swept by North Dakota in first round

With no backup and just 16 teammates, Matt Vernon keeps CC hockey playoff loss close
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