The WCHA kept the news of commissioner Bruce McLeod’s new contract under wraps for over three months, but public relations director Doug Spencer couldn’t keep it in any longer.
Spencer opened the league’s annual coaches teleconference Tuesday by announcing that McLeod had signed a contract to keep him in his position through the 2006 season.
McLeod said the five-year deal was signed at the league’s meetings in the spring, and took effect July 1.
“For us in the WCHA, these are the good times right now,” McLeod said, “and hopefully I had something to do with it.”
The league originally decided not to publicize the contract, but changed its mind when the CCHA announced its commissioner, Tom Anastos, received a contract extension.
McLeod, entering his eighth season as the WCHA’s commissioner, has been in charge for some of the league’s best years, both from a playing standpoint and from a financial angle.
The league sent a record five teams to the NCAA tournament last season, the same year it set an attendance record at its Final Five in St. Paul, Minn., its first at the Xcel Energy Center.
“I think it definitely is a recognition of what has happened for us in the last four or five years in the league,” McLeod said. “There’s always growth, but it’s been a big jump for us. It culminated in a lot of different ways this past year, with attendances and new buildings and the tournament last year.”
McLeod played in the WCHA for Minnesota-Duluth, and later became the school’s athletics director.