Longtime St. Cloud State assistant coach Gibbons announces retirement

Mike Gibbons had been behind the St. Cloud State bench since the 2007-08 season (photo: SCSU Athletics).

St. Cloud State assistant coach Mike Gibbons has announced his plans to retire prior to the start of the 2020-21 season.

Gibbons joined the SCSU staff at St. Cloud State for the 2007-08 season as an assistant coach under Bob Motzko, and later served as an assistant coach for Brett Larson.

“Mike Gibbons has played a pivotal role in the success of the hockey program here at St. Cloud State since his arrival in 2007-08,” Larson said in a statement. “The Huskies have been very fortunate to have Mike as part of our staff. His ability as a coach on the ice, recruiter and mentor for our players has helped position St. Cloud State among the best in college hockey. We wish Mike the best as he begins this new chapter of his life.”

Gibbons received the American Hockey Coaches Association’s Terry Flanagan Award in 2016. The award is presented annually and it honors an assistant coach’s career body of work.

“In the 14 years I have been associated with the program, my wife and I have fallen in love with St. Cloud State, the community, the fans, the players and the staff,” Gibbons added. “I am certainly proud of our All-America and NHL players, but I am most proud of our players’ quality of character during my time at St. Cloud State. We have had outstanding student-athletes here at SCSU and they have helped make this program great.

“I would like to thank Bob Motzko for taking a chance on me coming out of the high school coaching ranks back in 2007, and I would like to thank Brett Larson and Nick Oliver for their work over the past two seasons. I think Brett (Larson) and Nick (Oliver) are two superstars and I have no doubt that they can bring home a national title to St. Cloud State.

“The opportunity to work at St. Cloud State has been a career highlight and the success of this program is not due to just one person. The success encompasses everyone on our staff and this includes people like Brett Larson, Nick Oliver, Matt Bertram, Nick Tomczyk, Jeremiah Minkel, Bryan DeMaine, Heather Weems, Bill Hudson, Matt Chapman, Joe Meierhofer, Cory Portner, Travis Zins, Therese Todd and Tom Nelson. It takes a village to build a team, and these people are all part of the SCSU success story.”

Prior to joining the staff at SCSU, Gibbons served as the head coach at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minn., from 1997 to 2007.

A graduate of Bemidji State, where he as a standout blueliner for the Beavers from 1975 to 1979, Gibbons gained All-America notice in 1978 and 1979 and helped BSU win a national title in 1979.

He began his coaching career at BSU as an assistant coach in 1981 and later served as an interim head coach at Bemidji State during the 1982-83 season, during which time he was named the NHCA Coach of the Year and the Edward Jeremiah College Division National Coach of the Year.

Gibbons moved to Northern Michigan in 1983 and served as an assistant coach with the Wildcats until 1988. He went on to serve as an assistant coach at Colorado College (1988 to 1990) and Denver (1990 to 1994).

After leaving Denver, Gibbons worked for one year as the head coach for the Langley Thunder in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League.

From 1995 to 1997, Gibbons moved into the professional ranks as an assistant coach with the Baltimore Bandits – the Anaheim Ducks’ top affiliate in the AHL.

In 2006, Gibbons served as an assistant coach for the U.S. team that placed fourth at the World Junior Championship in Vancouver. In 1993, he was a co-coach with Scott Owens for the USA Select Team and he has coached numerous USA Hockey Select 17 teams during his career.

St. Cloud State will immediately begin the process of finding a candidate to fill the position vacated by Gibbons’ retirement.