HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michigan Tech head coach Mike Sertich announced his retirement today, less than three years after he took over the struggling program in midseason.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time here,” said Sertich, “The people have been wonderful and the kids just absolutely fantastic. I feel like the program is on very solid ground and it’s an appropriate time for me to move on to the next stage in life.
“You know, my dad died when he was 61 and never got to retirement. I have a wonderful wife, three terrific children, and six grandchildren to enjoy. I’ll miss coaching, no question about it, but I feel in my heart that the timing is right.”
After Tim Watters was fired, the 56-year-old Sertich took over the Michigan Tech program on Nov. 8, 2000, nine games into the season on an interim basis. He had the interim title removed Jan. 19, 2001, and was signed to a five-year contract.
Michigan Tech made great strides under Sertich’s leadership. The Huskies finished the 2002-03 season with 17 points in the WCHA, the most since 1998-99. Sertich also led the club to double digits in wins for the first time since 1997-98. Furthermore, Tech had a 40-point scorer (Colin Murphy) for the first time since 1997-98 and freshman Chris Conner had 37 points, the most for a rookie at Michigan Tech since Pat Mikesch had 38 points in 1992-93.
“Mike’s goal when he came here was to create stability in the program and I believe he has done that,” said MTU athletics director Rick Yeo. “While I would prefer to have Mike remain for another year or two, I respect his decision and I’m confident the next coach will be inheriting a team with great potential. I wish Mike the very best in his retirement and thank him for the commitment he made to the Michigan Tech hockey program.”
Sertich concludes a 21-year head coaching career with a record of 375-397-53 overall, including a 25-69-9 mark at MTU with the rest coming at Minnesota-Duluth. He is a four-time WCHA Coach of the Year (1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1992-93) and was named the American Hockey Coaches Association Spenrose Penrose recipient as the NCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 1983-84 as he took UMD to the national finals.
A national search for a replacement is underway.
“We’ll move as quick as we can,” said Yeo, “but at the same time, we’ll take the time necessary to get the right person in place.”