Northern Michigan filled the lone coaching vacancy in the WCHA on Tuesday when it hired Minnesota assistant Grant Potulny as its new coach. Potulny, 37, a Grand Forks, N.D., native, played for the Gophers, winning a national championship in 2002 and '03, and has been an assistant to Don Lucia for the past eight seasons.
Potulny will be the third head coach in Wildcats history, replacing Walt Kyle, who was let go in March.
Northern Michigan was one of several coaching openings in college hockey this offseason. Michigan and Niagara remain open, and many eyes are on the Michigan job. If longtime Wolverines assistant and current Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson lands that gig, that will leave another void in the WCHA. There has been conflicting speculation about Michigan's interest in Pearson. Pearson, naturally, says he's got it pretty good at Tech right now.
Here are the coaching changes in college hockey:
Team New coach Replaces
Northern Michigan Grant Potulny Walt Kyle
Michigan State Danton Cole Tom Anastos
Nebraska Omaha Mike Gabinet Dean Blais
RPI Dave Smith Seth Appert
Canisius Trevor Large* Dave Smith
Michigan ??? Red Berenson
Niagara ??? Dave Burkholder