Badgers fire coach Eaves after 14 seasons


Not pro hockey news, but big hockey news nonetheless — the University of Wisconsin Badgers have fired head coach Mike Eaves after 14 seasons, which included a national title in 2006.


Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez made the decision after the six-time national champion Badgers labored through consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1995-97 and saw fan support at the Kohl Center dwindle.

“I told Mike I appreciated the work he’s done here,” Alvarez said. “I also told him that we have great tradition and standards here in hockey. He’s the gate-keeper of hockey. I’m the gate-keeper of the department. We both have a responsibility.

“After last season, because of the success we’ve had in the past, we felt that Mike had earned a chance to get the ship righted. But now, after back-to-back seasons like the last two we’ve had, I feel we need a change.”

The Badgers went 8-19-8 this season, after finishing 4-26-5 last season.

The 2006 championship team was led by future NHLers Joe Pavelski, Adam Burish, Tom Gilbert, and Brian Elliott.

Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Suter, Derek Stepan, Brendan Smith, Craig Smith, Rene Bourque, Jake Gardiner, Justin Schultz and Kyle Turris also played under Eaves at Wisconsin.