Brett Larson guided the St. Cloud State men's hockey team to its first NCAA Division I championship game appearance in April, and on Tuesday the third-year Huskies coach received a reward: a seven-year contract extension through the 2027-18 season.
"Since his arrival at St. Cloud State and very first meeting with the team, Coach Larson has demonstrated an impressive capacity for leadership and coaching,'' athletic director Heather Weems said in a statement. "Brett's commitment to a positive program culture marked by continuous development, selfless play, relentless work ethic, and overall excellence provides an atmosphere in which players thrive. … I couldn't be more excited about the trajectory of our program and continued presence amongst the nation's elite men's hockey programs under Coach Larson's leadership.''
Financial terms of the contract were not announced.
A Duluth native and former Minnesota Duluth assistant, Larson, 48, has guided the Huskies to a 63-32-9 overall record, including 20-11 in 2020-21, when they advanced to the second Frozen Four appearance in school history. St. Cloud State defeated Boston University and Boston College in the NCAA Northeast Regional before edging Minnesota State Mankato 5-4 in a thrilling national semifinal in Pittsburgh. The Huskies fell 5-0 to Massachusetts in the title game.
"I want to thank Heather Weems for in me and giving me this opportunity three years ago, as well as her passionate support of Husky Athletics,'' Larson said in a statement. "I've been fortunate to be surrounded by great people here at SCSU. The administration, our players, our staff, our alumni and our fans make this such a special place. I'm proud to be a Husky and am looking forward to continuing our work to make our school, community, alumni and fans proud of Husky Hockey!''
Larson took over as Huskies coach following the 2017-18 season when Bob Motzko left the Granite City to coach Minnesota. Larson's first Huskies squad posted a 30-6-3 record and won the NCHC regular-season title but fell to American International in the first round of the NCAA tournament. In 2019-20 after heavy personnel losses, St. Cloud State went 13-15-6 in a season shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.
The outlook for the 2021-22 Huskies is strong, with five seniors from this past season – forwards Easton Brodzinski and Kevin Fitzgerald, defensemen Seamus Donohue and Luke Jaycox, and goalie David Hrenak – returning for another year granted by the NCAA because of COVID-19.