Friday, March 18, 2016
Eaves Out at Wisconsin
Mike Eaves is out at Wisconsin after 14 years at the Badger helm, according to multiple sources.
Eaves, who led UW to the 2006 national title, has been relieved of his head coaching duties after posting 12 wins total in the past two seasons as the Badgers finished at the bottom of the six-team Big Ten Conference in both years. The Badgers’ 2015-16 campaign (8-19-8 overall, 3-13-4-2 Big Ten) concluded yesterday with a 5-2 loss to Penn State in a Big Ten quarterfinal game in St. Paul, Minn.
A Denver native, Eaves leaves his alma mater with a 267-225-66 overall record, including seven NCAA Tournament berths. He also guided Wisconsin to the last tournament title in the “old” WCHA three years ago, before leading it to the inaugural Big Ten Tournament championship the following season, while 26 of his players made it to the NHL.
A 1978 graduate of Wisconsin, Eaves finished his college career with 94 goals and 173 assists for 267 points in 160 appearances, according to hockeydb.com, and also helped the Badgers to two WCHA Tournament titles, plus the 1977 NCAA crown. Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the seventh round (113th overall) in the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft, he ultimately recorded 83-143—226 points in 324 NHL regular-season games with the Minnesota North Stars and the Calgary Flames, and also posted 7-10—17 points in 43 Stanley Cup Playoff contests.
Eaves began his coaching career as an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1988-89, then moved on to the Pittsburgh Penguins after head coaching stints with both Hershey (AHL) and HIFK Helsinki (Finland). He then spent one winter (2000-01) as head coach with the U.S. National Junior Team (USHL) before taking the job at Wisconsin the following season.
Under Eaves’ watch, Wisconsin won the 2006 national title in Milwaukee over Boston College, before being shut out by the Eagles four years later in Detroit in the NCAA title tilt. His sons, Ben and Patrick, both skated for Boston College prior to those games. Ben played professionally in the AHL, ECHL and Finland before retiring in 2013, while Patrick has appeared in over 500 NHL career games and is now in his second season with the NHL’s Dallas Stars.