WCHA bids adieu to Woog adieu

Aaron Kirscht

Doug Woog made a habit of beating up on the WCHA, posting a career winning percentage of more than .600 against every other team currently in the league.
But rather than root for Woog’s resignation, which the 14-year Gophers men’s hockey coach announced on Tuesday, several WCHA coaches said they are sorry to see him go.
Wisconsin assistant coach Pat Ford, who has been in the WCHA for eight seasons, called the league’s coaches “one big fraternity,” and said it’s difficult to see a veteran coach walk away.
“We all understand the nature of the business,” Ford said, “but when it happens, it still comes as a shock. I know Doug well personally, and regardless of what he does as a coach, I respect him as a good person and value his opinion.”
Minnesota-Duluth coach Mike Sertich, who took over the Bulldogs two seasons before Woog was hired at Minnesota, has thrown plenty of jabs in Woog’s direction over the years.
Sertich is fond of referring to Minnesota as “The Big School,” and says it’s been difficult to keep up with the Gophers on the recruiting trail. But on Tuesday he revealed only respect for the outgoing coach.
“You’ve got to do what’s best for you,” Sertich said. “I don’t know the particulars, and I don’t want to know. But I do wish him well. He’s a good hockey man. You don’t win that many games unless you are.”
Woog went 389-187-40 behind the Minnesota bench, but will now move on to a fund raising position in the men’s athletics department. Along with helping to keep the school in compliance with Title IX gender equity standards, Woog will raise funds for the design and construction of “barn loft” suites, similar to those built into the Williams Arena rafters in 1997.
Woog’s new contract is for three years with an option for a fourth. His $98,000 coaching salary will reportedly carry over to the new position.
“We’re sorry to see Doug leave,” St. Cloud State assistant coach Brett Peterson said. “But at the same time we’re happy the University decided to take care of him; they gave him three years, and that’s all you can ask for. So there are some mixed emotions.”
Woog also has mixed emotions, but said he’s looking forward to the challenge of a new job.
“You’ve got to convince yourself that what you’ve been doing for 30 years — walking onto the rink, blowing your whistle and barking — is no longer going to be a part of your life, and yet the other alternative made it easier.”