Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The University of Denver announced on Monday that George Gwozdecky is out as men's head ice hockey coach after 19 seasons.
"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 university 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."
The Pioneers finished the 2012-13 season with a 20-14-5 record, a WCHA mark of 14-9-5, and gained an NCAA Tournament berth. However, the school lost its opener to New Hampshire in the semifinals of the Northeast Regional.
"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."
The 59-year-old Gwozdecky took over in 1994, and leaves the school having compiled a 443-267-64 record along with back-to-back national titles in 2004 and '05.
"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," Bradley-Dopps added.
Denver, which had been a long-time member of the WCHA, will break away to be a founding member of the NCHC, which is set to begin play next season.
The search for a successor will begin immediately.