Dean Blais resigned after eight seasons as men's hockey coach at Nebraska Omaha, the university announced Tuesday. Blais led North Dakota to national championships in 1997 and 2000 before moving on to Omaha.
"I have been extremely fortunate in my career to work in so many good places with so many people who care about the game of hockey," Blais said in a statement. "Omaha is one of those places. Our administration, led by Trev Alberts and Mike Kemp, have been very supportive during my time as UNO head coach, and our fans are some of the best in college hockey.
"And more than anything else, I have forged so many great relationships with our student-athletes, many of whom have gone on to play in the National Hockey League. They were great students, and great people. In the end, that's what I appreciate the most. Jackie and I are going to miss Omaha, and we are looking forward to the next chapter."
Blais, a 66-year-old International Falls native, left UND in 2004 as the nation's winningest active coach while compiling a 262-115-33 record over 10 years.
He had a 146-133-30 record with the Mavericks and led them to the 2015 Frozen Four.
"Dean has been a remarkable leader for our hockey program during the last eight seasons, and he leaves it in a more prominent position nationally than when he began here in 2009," said Alberts, UNO's vice chancellor of athletics. "Milestones were a regular occurrence on his watch.
"For many, that would be a career's worth of accomplishments, and Dean did that in eight years."
Blais also has international coaching experience. He led the U.S. national junior team to a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship and also coached the team in the 1993 and 2012 championships. Blais also served as an assistant coach for several national teams including the U.S. Olympic men's hockey team in 1992.