Minnesota State coach announces retirement

Josh Linehan

Minnesota lost a hockey institution earlier this week when Minnesota State coach Don Brose said his 30th season will be his last.
Brose, the only coach in the Mavericks’ history, made the announcement he would retire when the season ends at a news conference Monday afternoon.
Brose started the men’s ice hockey program at Minnesota State as a club team, and has led them up through the Division II ranks, winning a national championship along the way.
Beginning with the 1996-97 season, Brose and the Mavericks began Division I competition. This season, Minnesota State began WCHA competition, and are currently in fifth place in the league, one spot ahead of the Gophers.
Brose said he planned on waiting until the end of the season to announce his decision, but for perhaps the last of countless times, he put his program ahead of himself.
“My personal choice would have been to wait until the end of the season to announce this decision,” said Brose, 59, at Monday’s conference. “After much thought, I decided it was in the best interests of the program to have my successor in place by late March in time for the April scholarship signing date.”
Though the school has announced plans for a nationwide search before naming the new head coach, Brose recommended assistant coach Troy Jutting as his replacement.
It was a hard decision both for Brose and his team. He told his players of his decision Sunday.
“I looked at them and started getting tears in my eyes,” Brose said. “So I had to go get a drink of water. When I came back in I told them, ‘You can’t look at me, we can’t have eye contact, or we’re never going to get this over with.'”
One of the reasons Brose cited for his departure was a feeling he had led the team to where he wanted it to be. That feeling was cemented earlier in the season when his team defeated Minnesota 6-5 in overtime.
“Two years ago, when we played at Minnesota for the first time and we had a one-goal loss, I had teary eyes. Then we had two tie games last year and that was pretty sentimental to me. This year I knew we had arrived, because I didn’t have tears in my eyes. I was smiling and I was happy. I knew the program had come to where I wanted it to be.”
Brose, a St. Louis Park native, also cited the wear and tear of the coaching grind as a factor in his decision.
With a career record of 531-332-72, Brose ranks 11th in all-time wins, and is seventh among active coaches. He leaves large shoes to fill.
And don’t be surprised if someday the Mavericks skate at brand new Brose Arena.
Minnesota is hanging on the NCAA Pairwise bubble. The Pairwise ranking system is the system used to determine the 12-team NCAA tournament field after conference winners receive automatic bids.
The Gophers are 13th in this week’s Pairwise rankings. A full listing of the teams eligible for consideration can be found on the U.S. College Hockey Online website at www.uscollegehockey.com. The tournament field and pairings for the East Regional in Albany, NY, and the West Regional at Mariucci Arena will be announced on Sunday, March 19.

Josh Linehan covers men’s hockey and welcomes comments at [email protected]