Well-known Michigan Soo native Joe Shawhan is switching Division 1 schools.
HockeyNewsNorth.com has confirmed that Shawhan has been hired as an assistant coach by the Michigan Tech Huskies of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
Michigan Tech head coach Mel Pearson today confirmed the hiring of Shawhan as the replacement for Damon Whitten, who earlier this off-season was hired as head coach of the rival Lake Superior State Lakers of the WCHA.
Shawhan served as assistant coach with the Northern Michigan Wildcats of the WCHA the past six seasons and before that was an assistant at Lake Superior State, where he was also a goalie during his 1983 to 1986 playing days with the Lakers.
“I’m extremely pleased to welcome Joe to the Michigan Tech hockey program,” said Pearson. “We took our time to find the right person for this position to ensure our program continues to move forward. We had an outstanding pool of candidates including first-round NHL draft picks and Stanley Cup champions.
“Joe brings with him a wealth of hockey knowledge, not only at the college level but from his days as head coach in the North American Hockey League. He’s going to be a tremendous asset in recruiting and in working with our goaltending.”
Shawhan’s career in coaching includes nine seasons as an assistant in Division 1 and 10 years as a head coach in the NAHL.
Shawhan spent 1995-2005 as coach and general manager of the Soo Indians, compiling a 474-162-43 record to become the winningest coach in the history of the NAHL.
With Shawhan at the helm, the erstwhile Indians won three division titles and had multiple national tournament appearances. More than 100 of Shawhan’s former players went on to play college hockey.
Joining the Lake Superior State staff in 2005, Shawhan worked three years as assistant coach with the Lakers before moving to Northern Michigan.
“I’m excited about this new opportunity,” said Shawhan. “Thanks to Mel, (Michigan Tech athletic director) Suzanne (Sanregret) and all involved. It was a really difficult decision to leave Northern Michigan but this is a great opportunity for me.
“I like the enthusiasm of the program and am comfortable with it. I’ve know Mel for a long time and understand how he’s running the program. I’m confident I’ll be able to step in and use my 30 years of experience to help this team.”
Shawhan will begin his duties at Michigan Tech immediately.