Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Gwozdecky out as Denver coach after 19 seasons

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under College hockey, Denver Updated: April 1, 2013 - 2:49 PM

Denver has announced hockey coach George Gwozdecky will leave after 19 seasons. A national search will commence immediately for his replacement.

The Pioneers recently finished their final season in the WCHA. Gwozdecky compiled a 443-267-64 record with DU and is on the verge of 600 career wins.

His overall record is 593-391-85. His team was 20-14-5 this season, 14-9-5 in conference. But the Pioneers lost in the first round of the WCHA playoffs to Colorado College and did not make the Final Five. They were also bounced in their first NCAA tournament game.

Both sides took the high road in the breakup.

“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 Peg Bradley-Doppes, vice chancellor for athletics and recreation, according to a DU news release.

“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.”

The Pioneers captured two NCAA Championships, three WCHA regular-season titles and four WCHA playoff titles during Gwozdecky's 19-year tenure.

“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.”

Gwozdecky will address the media in a news conference 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The Gophers had trouble beating Gwozdecky's teams in recent seasons. But his departure means less now because both teams will be in different conferences next season.

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