May 9, 2014 1:08 PM by Posted by Greg Smith
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - May 9, 2014 - Mike Haviland has agreed to become Colorado College's next head ice hockey coach. The highly regarded veteran coach with experience at the NCAA, ECHL, AHL and NHL levels will take over as the 14th coach of the Tigers later this month.
Haviland, most recently head coach for the Hershey Bears, the oldest franchise in the AHL, owns an impressive record. He earned a Stanley Cup as assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL in 2010. He was honored with the AHL's Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Coach of the Year Award for the 2006-07 season while serving as head coach of the Norfolk Admirals. He won ECHL championships as head coach of Trenton Titans in 2004-05 and the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies in 2002-03. From 1996-1998 as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Elmira College, Haviland helped guide that team to two ECAC championships.
Haviland has more than 20 years of hockey coaching experience, and became head coach of the Hershey Bears in 2013. Prior to arriving at Hershey, he served as associate head coach at Norfolk. From 2008-2012 he served as an assistant coach for the Blackhawks. Haviland got his start in the Blackhawk organization by serving as head coach of Rockford in 2007-2008. He also served as head coach for Norfolk in 2005-2007; of Trenton in the ECHL from 2004-2005; and Atlantic City of the ECHL from 2001-2004. Prior to 2001 Haviland served as assistant coach for several organizations.
"This is a terrific day for Colorado College," said Ken Ralph, CC's athletics director. "In Mike Haviland we have hired one of the most successful and widely respected coaches in the industry. Mike has won championships at multiple levels and has always produced winning programs. He has a deep understanding of the values of a liberal arts education and respect for the position of this program in the Colorado Springs community. We have aspirations of winning national championships, and I am confident we have found the right coach to turn our vision into reality."
Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler said Haviland's leadership qualities are a great match for CC's high-achieving student athletes.
"We are very fortunate to find a candidate who is both a teacher and mentor, as well as someone who will take our program in exciting new directions," Tiefenthaler said. "I am impressed with his ambition for the program and his competitive spirit. Mike is dedicated to his players and excited about being part of our community. He will be a transformational motivator and leader for our student athletes."
Haviland said he is looking forward to joining CC, the community and a nationally renowned Division 1 ice hockey program. He predicts great success for the CC Tigers.
"I'm thrilled to be part of the Colorado College family. I was very impressed with the school's commitment to excellence in academics and hockey," Haviland said. "I have great plans for this team. I expect that we will be national contenders. The school provides every opportunity for us to succeed on and off the ice. This is an exciting opportunity for me and my family."
Peter Stoykewych, junior defenseman for the Tigers and a member of the search committee, said, "After meeting Coach Haviland it was obvious that his character and personality are a perfect fit for our program. He is a proven winner who has experienced great success with multiple organizations. Just talking about hockey with him got me excited for next season. I can't wait to get on the ice with him."
Haviland joins one of the nation's elite Division I programs. The CC Tigers, founded in 1938, have competed in the NCAA championship game five times, winning it in 1950 and 1957; the team finished as a runner-up in 1952 and 1955. It has 12 NCAA tournament bids, six regular-season league titles, and 17 home-ice playoff berths in the last two decades alone.
Haviland replaces Scott Owens, who resigned in April after 15 years behind the Tigers bench. Under Owens the Tigers claimed three regular-season championships in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and earned seven appearances in the NCAA tournament, including a trip to the Frozen Four in 2005 and a return to the quarterfinals in 2011. Since 2005-06, the team has had 16 All-America selections and two Hobey Baker Award recipients.
As a player, Haviland was originally selected by the New Jersey Devils in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. His experience includes AHL time with the Binghamton Whalers (1989-90) and in the ECHL with the Richmond Renegades and the Winston-Salem Thunderbirds in 1990-91. In 1989-90, as a senior at Division III Elmira, he scored 27 goals and added 24 assists for 51 points in 23 games.
Haviland, 46, was born in Manhattan and grew up in Middletown, N.J. He and his future wife, Kristin, will have a blended family of six children.
Plans are underway for a public introduction of Haviland as the Tigers' new coach. Details will be released soon.