Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff
|Chris Brooks has accepted an assistant coach position at Michigan Tech. Photo: UWSP Athletics|
Stevens Point, WI- When one evaluates the most prevalent storylines in Division III hockey in the past half decade or more, UW-Stevens Point's return to national prominence would rank highly for most. In that span of time, the Pointers progressed from a 13-14-1 record under Wil Nichol in 2010-11, to NCAA championship site appearances in 2014 and 2015, and the school's fifth national championship in 2016.
As of Monday, the Pointers will have to move forward without the architect of that resurgence. Michigan Tech has announced the hiring of Pointers head coach Chris Brooks as an assistant coach for their men's program.
"I would like to thank so many people who have impacted me and played a part in my growth over the past six years," Brooks said in a release put out by Stevens Point. "Thanks to the fans, alumni, staff and, most importantly, the players. Our high standards on the ice, in the classroom and in our community are something I am extremely proud of and I am confident that our winning culture will continue in the future. Coaching here has provided me memories that will last a lifetime and has played a huge part in preparing me for my next opportunity in my coaching career."
In the six years he spent behind the Pointer bench, Brooks posted a record of 119-45-13, a mark that included four straight 20 win seasons from 2013-14 to 2016-17. The Pointers qualified for an at-large selection in the NCAA tournament in each of those years, and were a quarterfinalist or better each time. The program's rise included runner-up trophies in 2014 and 2015, preluding the big prize in 2016 when the Pointers took the NCAA crown with a win over St. Norbert in Lake Placid. This past season culminated in a quarterfinal loss to the Adrian Bulldogs.
While Brooks will not have the opportunity to bring a second title to Stevens Point any longer, UWSP athletic director Brad Duckworth expressed his gratitude for Brooks's service to the institution.
"We are grateful for the time and success that coach Brooks had here at UWSP," Duckworth said in the school's release. "We value his integrity and passion for the student-athlete success on and off the ice. He is a phenomenal coach and will be missed. We wish him the best of luck on his next adventure and are happy to see him moving up to the next level."
That move to the next level includes a spot on the staff of head coach Joe Shawhan at Michigan Tech. The Huskies will add Brooks's leadership to the mix as they look to compound off a 23-15-7 campaign and a first round exit at the hands of NCAA champion Denver in the NCAA tournament.
UW-Stevens Point will begin a search for Brooks's replacement immediately.