NAPLES, Fla. — What was rumored following his retirement from coaching, officially came to fruition today when College Hockey America named former Bemidji State coach Bob Peters its new commissioner. The announcement was made at the annual American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) in Naples.
Peters replaces Bruce M. McLeod, who had been the commissioner the past two
seasons, and is also the full-time WCHA commissioner. Peters will assume the role of commissioner of the CHA effective July 1, 2001.
“We are very excited to have a person of Bob Peters’ stature take over the league and lead us into the foreseeable future,” said Steve Rackley, executive committee chair and athletic director of the University of Findlay. “Bob is very well respected among his peers and he has tremendous vision and foresight.
“At the same time we would like to thank Bruce McLeod for his leadership and dedication in getting the CHA started. Bruce led the league with the utmost integrity and he is one of the most respected members of the college hockey community. What he has done for us is immeasurable. We are extremely grateful to the WCHA for letting Bruce assume the responsibilities he has the past two seasons.”
Peters, a native of Fort Frances, Ont., who retired from Bemidji State this past March, had been the Bemidji State head hockey coach since 1966 and earlier this year became the first coach on the collegiate level to win his 700th game with a single school. He came to Bemidji State after spending two years as the head coach at North Dakota.
“It is with great enthusiasm that I look forward to extending my commitment to the growth and development of collegiate hockey,” said Peters. “This is the fourth conference that I have been involved in as a founding member and I will look to draw upon those past experiences, which will prove invaluable in the future as the CHA evolves.”
During his tenure at Bemidji State, he guided the Beavers to 13 national championships. He has won 744 games as a head coach on the university level, and is the only coach to lead a team to a national championship final four in four divisions of college hockey. He currently ranks second on the all-time win list among college hockey coaches.
“Being named the CHA commissioner is a very exciting new aspect of my college hockey career,” said Peters. “We have an enthusiastic membership group with a tremendous vision and a very strong understanding of Division I hockey.”
While Peters has retired as the head hockey coach, he remains on staff at Bemidji State University under a program that will allow him to ease into full retirement over a period of years. He will also be associated with Bemidji State hockey in an administrative capacity acting as the school’s director for hockey operations.
The athletic directors also approved the recommendation by the coaches to name the regular-season championship trophy in honor of Peters as the R.H. “Bob” Peters Cup.