Thursday, March 1, 2018

Seawolves sack Thomas

Alaska Anchorage on Thursday announced that it will not be renewing the contract of hockey coach Matt Thomas after five seasons. The Seawolves went 4-26-4 this season and missed the WCHA playoff for the fourth time in row.

Thomas had a promising first season in the first year of the new WCHA, finishing sixth in the league and compiling an overall record of 18-16-4. UAA advanced to the league semifinals in Grand Rapids, Mich., that year, too.

But things went downhill from there. Having the specter early in the 2016 season of the possibility of getting the program cut looming over it didn't help more recent recruiting and results.

This season, Anchorage was 2-26-4 before closing out the season with a pair of wins at its arch rival, Alaska.

UAA interim athletic director Tim McDiffett said that a nationwide search for a new coach will begin immediately and told the Anchorage Daily News the expectation is to compete for home ice, if not championships, in WCHA.

"We are committed to hockey," McDiffett told the ADN. "The updates we've made on campus are significant. All (of our) sports face geographical disadvantages, but we think we have a lot of things in place to be more competitive than we have been."

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