FAIRBANKS, Alaska—University of Alaska Fairbanks Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Keith Champagne has named Erik Largen the head coach of the Alaska Nanooks men’s ice hockey program. Largen has served as the Nanooks’ assistant coach for the past two seasons.
The Fairbanks native and former UAF goaltender will become the program’s 10th head coach, replacing 2017-18 interim head coach Lance West. Among the 60 active NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey head coaches, Largen becomes the youngest of the group at 31 years of age.
“I would like to thank Chancellor White and Vice Chancellor Champagne for entrusting me with the head coaching position for the Alaska Nanooks,” Largen said. “The university system as a whole has been through some ups and downs but there is a long-term commitment by the new administration to lead our program to new heights. It is a great honor to have been chosen to be the new head coach and our staff will work tirelessly every day with an immense passion for the program to live up to the high standards that have been set before us.”
Largen was hired as an assistant coach in August 2016 by former head coach Dallas Ferguson. He served in the same position for interim head coach Lance West during the 2017-18 season.
"Coach Erik Largen is the future of intercollegiate hockey at UAF,” Champagne said. “He can bring the UAF and Fairbanks communities together, be honest about the challenges we face, and move our program forward in a positive and successful manner. Erik is a coach we can all believe in — he is a winner."
Throughout the past two seasons, Largen has been a part of Nanooks teams that advanced to the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs and also captured the coveted Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup in both 2017 and 2018. This past season, senior defenseman Zach Frye was named to the All-WCHA First Team, while freshman forward Steven Jandric was selected to the All-WCHA Rookie Team.
Off the ice, 28 members of the Alaska hockey team have been named to the WCHA All-Academic Team for the past two seasons, while 12 have been honored as WCHA Scholar-Athletes. Furthermore, Largen has been instrumental in organizing many community events that the Alaska Nanooks hockey team participates in, most recently the 3-on-3 Fundraiser Tournament hosted by Hockey Club Fairbanks to benefit the Masterson family.
Prior to joining the Alaska Nanooks hockey staff, Largen spent the 2015-16 season as head coach for the Marian University hockey team, an NCAA Division III program located in Fond du lac, Wisconsin. In his inaugural season as bench boss, Largen led the Sabres to an 18-7-3 season overall and a 15-4-1 mark in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play.
Largen brings a variety of coaching experience to the table, with stints in the United States Hockey League, the North American Hockey League and the Minnesota Junior Hockey League. Largen also served as the assistant coach for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs from 2009-2011. During his tenure, the Ice Dogs were the Robertson Cup runners-up in 2010 and claimed the championship in 2011.
Largen was a Nanooks goaltender from 2006-08. Largen is also featured on the College Hockey Honor Roll in the Fairbanks Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Alaska Nanooks Department of Athletics will host a press conference with Largen and Champagne in the Nanook Lounge (located in the lobby of the Patty Center) at 1 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time today. The press conference is open to the media and the public.
Media also may participate by phone by calling 866-832-7806 and using the code 1637788.
For more information on the Alaska Nanooks hockey team, follow @NanooksHockey on Twitter or like the Alaska Nanooks Hockey team page on Facebook.