Longtime Minnesota Duluth coach Sertich tabbed 2021 Hobey Baker Legend of College Hockey recipient


The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation announced Tuesday its 2021 Legend of College Hockey recipient as Mike Sertich from Minnesota Duluth.

Sertich’s run with the Bulldogs spanned 25 years beginning in 1975 and culminated in 2000. Retirement was short-lived as Sertich went behind the Michigan Tech bench mid-season in 2000-01 and continued for two more full seasons.

Following a career as a Bulldog defenseman in the mid-1960s, the Virginia, Minn., native started coaching with Gus Hendrickson at Grand Rapids (Minn.) High School. Together, the two moved on to Minnesota Duluth in 1975 with Sertich serving as assistant coach under Hendrickson. Sertich was chosen to take over the head coaching reins in 1982 and saw immediate success.

Minnesota Duluth made the NCAA tournament in each of his first three seasons, including two straight Frozen Four appearances. In just his second season (1983-84), the Bulldogs won the WCHA regular-season and playoff titles, then marched all the way to the national championship game, losing in an NCAA classic to Bowling Green in four overtimes.

The same script followed the next season as UMD won league and playoff banners, but suffered a three-overtime loss in the national semifinal game to Rennselaer. In each of his first three seasons guiding the Bulldogs, Sertich was named WCHA Coach of the Year and added national coach of the year accolades in 1984 (Spencer Penrose Award).

Overall, Sertich procured a 350-328-44 record in 18 seasons as the Bulldogs’ head coach. He enjoyed one more WCHA regular-season title and league coach of the year honors for the 1992-93 season. Sertich produced three Hobey Baker Award winners, 11 NCAA All-Americans, five WCHA Player of the Year honorees and 21 future NHL performers during his 18-year tenure.

He assumed the Michigan Tech head coaching job in October 2000 and went on to coach the rest of that year and two more full seasons before retiring with an overall college head coaching record of 375-397-53.

Not quite done with the hockey bug, Sertich served as a volunteer assistant coach at St. Scholastica for three years (2011-14). Additionally, he was involved with USA Hockey in a variety of roles over a 40-year period, including coaching the National Sled Hockey Team.

Sertich was honored with several more awards in 2005: WCHA Distinguished Service Award, the AHCA Founders Award and was inducted into the Minnesota Duluth Athletic Hall of Fame.

Good things run in the family as Mike’s nephew Marty Sertich won the Hobey Baker Award in 2005 while skating for Colorado College.

Sertich will be honored along with this year’s Hobey Baker Award winner at the annual Hobey Baker Award Banquet and golf outing this summer in St. Paul, Minn. Banquet and golf information will be available soon by visiting the Hobey Baker website.