Sunday, April 1, 2012
Minnesota State made the move on Sunday, relieving Troy Jutting of his coaching duties and reassigning him to another position at the university.
Jutting, a two-time WCHA coach of the year, had been the coach for 12 seasons and part of MSU hockey for 26, including four as a player and 10 as an assistant. His teams had a record of 184-224-55 (.463), including a 12-24-2 mark this past season.
Read my Free Press story on the move here. Minnesota State's official press release can be found here.
Surprising move? Yes and no.
It's a bit surprising in that Jutting has a season (15 months total) remaining on a contract that pays him more than $150,000/year (that's a bold move for the school, although the press release does say an agreement has been reached between MSU and Jutting), and his team improved through an injury-riddled season and looks like it has some pieces in place for next year and certainly the first few years of the new WCHA.
However, two 11th-place finishes in the WCHA, dwindling attendance at the Verizon Wireless Center (WCHA-era low 3,228 average) and going nine years without getting to the Final Five probably caused the powers that be at MSU to make a change now.
Minnesota State will begin a national search for Jutting's replacement immediately. I'm guessing MSU would like to move fairly quickly on this, and there should be some good candidates. I'll explore more on that tomorrow, but whoever inherits the program will get one that seems to be in pretty good shape to start (not unlike and perhaps better than what Mel Pearson got at Michigan Tech this year).
As for Jutting, he sounded disappointed, naturally, when I talked to him but was gracious in both his comments to me and those on the press release.
Minnesota State has scheduled a press conference for 10:30 a.m. Monday with President Richard Davenport, athletic director Kevin Buisman and some players.
Posted by Shane Frederick at 8:10 PM