Michigan Tech announced Wednesday that the contract of hockey coach Mel Pearson has been extended five years through the 2020-21 season.
“Our goal is to bring the hockey program back to national prominence,” said MTU athletic director Suzanne Sanregret in a news release. “There are many pieces to that, but finding the right coach is a critical component. Coach Pearson has demonstrated his commitment to this program. He’s brought in top-quality student-athletes and built a solid foundation. We needed this contract to continue the progress we’ve made in returning Michigan Tech hockey to an elite level.”
Pearson returned to his alma mater in 2011-12, guiding the Huskies to 16-19-4 mark and appearance in the WCHA Final Five. He was named WCHA coach of the year for helping Tech quadruple its wins total from the year before.
During his three seasons, Pearson has guided Michigan Tech hockey to 43 victories and the program’s best three-year stretch in 20 years.
“Our sports teams bring a lot of enthusiasm to campus, and our hockey program is our flagship,” added Michigan Tech president Glenn Mroz. “We really want to build this program to last. You need a coach who’s going to be around because the coach has so much influence in recruiting quality student-athletes. A long-term contract for Coach Pearson says to recruits, alumni and the community that we’re committed to making our hockey program the best it can be.”
Pearson led the Huskies to a sweep of Michigan State and a Great Lakes Invitational title game appearance a year ago. Michigan Tech compiled a 12-11-5 record in WCHA play, marking the program’s first winning mark in league play since 1992-93.
Other highlights of Pearson’s tenure include a GLI championship in 2012 (Tech’s first in 32 years of hosting the holiday tournament), five wins over top-five-ranked opponents and a surge in offensive production (2.72 goals per game over the last three years compared to 1.88 the three years prior).