Gwozdecky Fired, Now What?

The University of Denver Pioneers fired 19-year men's hockey coach George Gwozdecky today.

Gwozdecky, who's now 59 years old, had one more season left in the 12-year contract he signed and was reportedly talking with the school about an extension, which obviously failed to conclude.

The School, who made it sound as though Gwozdecky was "leaving" and not fired, released an official announcement today and stated that Gwozdecky will speak tomorrow at 11:00am about leaving the school.  The following are highlighted from the school's release:
“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,” said Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes. “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." 
“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.”
 
Since 1995, Gwozdecky has coached the Pioneers to two national championships, three Frozen Four appearances, three WCHA MacNaughton Cups (regular season champions), four WCHA Broadmoor Trophies (playoff champions), and 11 NCAA tournament appearances.

Gwozdecky is also the only person to ever win the national championship as a player (Wisconsin), assistant coach (Michigan State) and a head coach, which he did for the pioneers in 2004 and 2005.
“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.”
Making five of the last six NCAA tournaments, it didn't really seem as though Gwozdecky had much to worry about, especially after he had seemingly took his team from very little when he started, to a top contender year after year.

Since signing a $221,000 extension in in 2001, Gwozdecky had allowed the team to win 20 games in each season, even winning the back to back national championships as I stated above.

It's almost ridiculous to see him fired after recent success.  Sources are indicating that both lack of recent success and failure to reach extension agreements are the cause of Gwozdecky's release, but many of his former players and others are also confused as to why Gwozdecky was fired.











Although I have not seen tweets from recent former Pioneer stars' Drew Shore and Minnesota Wild's Jason Zucker, I assume they'll come.

More information will probably come to site as the situation progresses, like new coaching options and other reasons for the departure, until than, try and understand what the heck just happened?

Enjoy.

Questions?  Comments?  Enjoy.

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