The latest NCAA head coaching vacancy this offseason was filled on Monday when Michigan Tech University assistant coach Joe Shawhan was named as the 22nd head coach overall of the Huskies. He succeeds Mel Pearson, an MTU graduate who left Tech after six seasons to return to the University of Michigan as head coach in place of the retired Red Berenson.
Shawhan has been on MTU's staff the last three seasons, helping the Huskies to a WCHA playoff title and NCAA Tournament berth this past season. He previously served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Lake Superior State University, and at Northern Michigan University. He also guided the U.S. Junior National Team to a silver medal at the Viking Cup in Alberta as head coach in 2004, two years after doing the same as an assistant.
Prior to becoming an NCAA Division I college coach, Shawhan served as head coach and general manager of the now-defunct Soo Kewadin Casino Indians of the North American Hockey League from 1995 to 2005, amassing a league-record 474 junior “A” wins to go along with three NAHL titles. He also turned out dozens of players for the collegiate and professional ranks, most noticeably former Michigan State University goaltender Ryan Miller, a Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner and U.S. Olympian who now plays for the NHL's Vancouver Canucks.
A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Shawhan played collegiately at LSSU. He led the Lakers in total saves (480) in 1982-83 and in goals-against average (3.03) in 1985-86, and finished with 1,130 career saves.