by Ralph Routon
Scott Owens, head hockey coach at Colorado College for the past 15 seasons, resigned Sunday morning on the heels of his worst year, which ended with a record of 7-24-6.
There had been much speculation about whether Owens would be given one more season to right the ship, considering his overall mark of 324-228-54 — making him CC's winningest hockey coach in the program's long history. Another factor thought to be weighing in Owens' favor was being a former CC goaltender and 1979 graduate.
But a release sent out Sunday by CC's athletic department said that Owens and Ken Ralph, the school's athletics director, agreed after a postseason review that the coach would leave.
“I have been fortunate to have had the best job in college hockey for the past 15 seasons. It is time for a new coach to enjoy working with our players,” Owens said in the release. “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.”
Owens' teams won three regular-season conference titles and earned seven trips to the NCAA tournament, most recently a trip to the national quarterfinals in 2011 after a first-round upset win over Boston College. He coached 16 All-Americans and two Hobey Baker award winners in the past decade.
“We are thankful to Coach Owens for his years of dedicated service as our head hockey coach,” Ralph said in the release. “His accomplishments during this time behind the bench for the Tigers speak for themselves.”
Owens became CC's head coach in 1999 replacing Don Lucia, who left to become head coach at Minnesota.
The news release said a national search will begin immediately for Owens' replacement, though one candidate might be current CC assistant Eric Rud, who captained the Tigers during their run to the NCAA title game in 1996 (when CC lost in overtime to Michigan).
CC President Jill Tiefenthaler said, “The academic achievement of our student athletes always comes first, and under Coach Owens our players were consistently honored for their performance as students. I am grateful to Scott for keeping academics a top priority and supporting our players in their studies.”