Mercyhurst extends contracts of men’s coach Gotkin, women’s coach Sisti

Mercyhurst has locked up both its men’s coach Rick Gotkin and women’s coach Mike Sisti through the 2015-16 season as each signed contract extensions Tuesday with the Lakers.

Gotkin, who will be entering his 25th season as the head coach at Mercyhurst in 2012-13, has a career record of 434-306-60 (434 wins are 28th all-time) and is the only coach in NCAA history to take the same program to the Division III, Division II and Division I national playoffs.

“It’s absolutely a great thing for our program,” said Gotkin in a statement. “It certainly benefits my family and me, but the bigger picture is that it shows commitment towards ice hockey here at Mercyhurst University and commitment is very important to recruits and to existing players.

“It’s a great thing all the way around. Kids that are looking at schools want to make sure that the school is committed to the program and that the head coach will be there for a while.”

Sisti, who has been the only coach in the history of the Mercyhurst women’s program, will be entering his 14th season as head coach after serving six seasons as Gotkin’s assistant on the men’s team. Sisti is 334-92-29, while his .766 winning percentage is second all-time to Wisconsin’s Mark Johnson (.832).

“It’s nice to have another four years on paper,” said Sisti in a statement. “It definitely helps the recruiting process and it certainly gives me a great piece of mind that I’m assured another four years to continue to build the program. Both my staff and my players have represented Mercyhurst with a great deal of pride and we love working and playing here. It’s nice to know that we have a deal for four more years and we’re excited to continue to do what we do.”

Mercyhurst director of athletics Joe Kimball summed up the contract extensions.

“It’s an exciting day here at Mercyhurst University, especially for our two hockey programs and head coaches Rick Gotkin and Michael Sisti,” said Kimball in a statement. “As a former coach, I understand the importance of having a four-year contract.

“One of the first things kids will ask during the recruiting process is ‘Am I assured you are going to be my coach all four years?’ Now, both Rick and Mike can say yes they will.”