Gwozdecky

DENVER -- Denver head coach George Gwozdecky is leaving the program he led to two NCAA championships during his 19-year tenure.

The school says a national search for his successor has begun.

“We certainly wish George the best in his future endeavors and we are thankful for his 19 years at the helm of our hockey program,” vice chancellor for athletics and recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes said. “He certainly had his fair share of success, returning the program to the pinnacle of the collegiate hockey world during our great run in the middle of the previous decade. In addition, he has always run our program with class and professionalism, which has certainly made our fans proud to be Pioneer supporters."

Although Gwozdecky was 443-267-64 at Denver, including three WCHA regular-season titles and four WCHA playoff titles, the Pioneers finished 20-14-5 this season, losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in the past six seasons.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be the varsity hockey coach at the University of Denver for the past 19 years,” Gwozdecky said. “I’m extremely proud of the work that we have done to continue to build on the great Pioneer hockey tradition. Our consistency of success on the ice and in the classroom over the years has been a focal point of our work and I am very proud of what we have achieved. I will forever cherish the relationships that we have built in the Denver community with our fans, our staff and most importantly our former and current players. I want to wish them all the best.”

The Pioneers are joining the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference next season following the breakup of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

“We must now turn our attention toward a new direction for our hockey program with another innovative coach taking the lead for our inaugural season in the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference," Bradley-Doppes said.

Denver contributed to this report.