Jim Scanlan steps down after 10 years as head coach of Beavers women's hockey

Apr. 8—BEMIDJI — After a decade as head coach of the Bemidji State women's hockey program, Beavers bench boss Jim Scanlan is stepping down from his head coaching duties.

"I would like to thank former Bemidji State President Richard Hanson and Director of Athletics Tracy Dill for giving me the opportunity and trusting me with the position of Head Women's Hockey Coach at Bemidji State University," said Scanlan in a release.

"To be able to come back to my alma mater and coach in the WCHA was very special. I was extremely honored and grateful at the time of my hiring, and that has not changed in the 10 years I have been here. During my tenure, we have experienced a lot of special times, and we have experienced some challenges as well. I will take with me a lot of great memories."

Scanlan was hired as the fifth head coach in Bemidji State women's hockey history on June 17, 2014. He is the program's winningest head coach, amassing 122 career victories, and is the only head coach in program history to reach the 100 career victories milestone.

Scanlan is a former National Coach of the Year and WCHA Coach of the Year, both achieved during the 2014-15 season. He helped guide the Beavers to a program record 22 wins during the 2015-16 season.

Since taking over the program before the 2014-15 season, Scanlan has coached one All-American (Brittni Mowat), one WCHA Defensive Player of the Year (Ivana Bilic), one WCHA Student-Athlete of the Year (Mak Langei), eight All-WCHA honorees, 176 WCHA All-Academic Team selections, 132 WCHA Scholar-Athletes, and 139 All-American Scholars.

Scanlan led the BSU Women's Hockey team to new heights in his first season behind the bench in 2014-15. He led the Beavers to a 10-win improvement from the previous season and their most wins in program history (21) at that time.

The Beavers earned five wins over teams that finished in the top 10 nationally, reached the program's highest-ever ranking in the USAToday/USAHockeyMagazine National Poll (fourth) and earned the program's second-ever trip to the WCHA Final Face-Off and reached the Championship game after BSU defeated second-ranked, and eventual National Champion Minnesota, in the semifinal.

In his second season at the helm of the program, Scanlan led the Beavers to a now-program-best win total of 22 and the program's highest finish in the WCHA standings (third) with a 17-9-2 league record. That season, Bemidji State hosted its first-ever playoff series at Sanford Center. Following the season, senior Ivana Bilic earned the program's first WCHA Defensive Player of the Year award.

In his fourth season with the Beavers, Scanlan led Bemidji State to a 16-19-3 record and fifth-place finish in the WCHA regular season. The Beavers went 9-13-2 in conference play and upset fourth-seed Minnesota Duluth at AMSOIL Arena in the best-of-three first-round series in the WCHA Playoffs to advance to the program's third WCHA Final Faceoff at Ridder Arena.

Scanlan became the program's winningest head coach during his fifth season. On Feb. 8, 2019, after guiding the Beavers to a 3-2 upset over then-ranked No. 9 Ohio State, he earned career victory No. 82.

On Feb. 29, 2020, during his sixth season, Scanlan earned career victory No. 100 to become the first head coach in program history to reach the century-win mark in an exciting four-overtime victory over Minnesota Duluth in the WCHA Playoff quarterfinal and also the second-longest game in NCAA history.

In total, Scanlan reached the 10-win mark in seven of his 10 seasons, the most among any head coach at Bemidji State. He compiled a 122-202-23 (.385) career record at BSU.

"To my wife Cyndy, who has been on this coaching journey with me for close to 40 years, my daughter Bri with her husband Ben Kinne, my daughter Jaclyn with her special friend Derick Hass, my son Joe with his wife Raquel Thelen, and my grandkids, Kayson, Cici, Howie and Mack: Thank you, thank you, thank you," Scanlan said. "Your love and support have been the why to my purpose."

Prior to being hired at BSU, Scanlan spent six seasons as head coach of the East Grand Forks High School girl's ice hockey team, compiling an overall record of 110-51-6 (.677). His 2013-14 Green Wave team posted a 26-3-1 record, earned a Section 8A championship and climbed to No. 1 in the state's Class A ranks before falling to The Blake School 3-2 in the 2014 Minnesota State High School League championship game. After the season, Scanlan, a two-time Section 8A Coach of the Year, was named Minnesota Class A Coach of the Year.

Scanlan was also the boy's hockey coach from 1996-2005, during which he led the Green Wave to a 148-109-15 (.572) record. He led the East Grand Forks boys to four section titles (1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002), and four Minnesota State Tournament appearances (1989, 1999, 2001 and 2002), finishing as high as second in 1999. Scanlan was named Section 8A Boy's Coach of the Year in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002.

In addition to his teaching and coaching responsibilities, Scanlan served as the Green Wave's activities director during his time at East Grand Forks.

Scanlan also has 12 additional years of collegiate coaching experience. He was an assistant coach for the North Dakota men's ice hockey team from 1989-1996. He also assisted Western Michigan from 1985-1989 and was a graduate assistant coach at Northern Michigan in 1984-85.

During his time at the collegiate ranks, Scanlan's teams, comprised of six All-American selections, 38 all-conference picks and 67 academic all-conference honorees, posted a 207-208-26 (.499) overall record and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Scanlan graduated from Bemidji State in 1985 with a degree in physical education and health. He later earned a master's degree in physical education with an emphasis in athletic administration from Western Michigan University in 1988.

As a collegiate goaltender, Scanlan played for legendary R.H. "Bob" Peters at Bemidji State from 1978-1982. A four-year letter winner, the captain was in net 85 times, logging a career record of 62-19-0. He backstopped the Beavers to an NCHA regular-season title in 1982 and four consecutive trips to the NAIA national tournament, including national titles in 1979 and 1980.

The NCHA Player of the Year in 1982, Scanlan was selected as an NAIA All-American to conclude the 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons. Scanlan also left his mark on the BSU goaltending records. He remains amongst the top ten in six major goaltending categories.

He is fifth on BSU's save percentage list (.907), eighth in goals-against average (2.821), is third on BSU's goaltending victories list (62), ranks sixth on the Beavers' career saves list (2,211) and his 4,807 minutes in net stand eighth in Beaver hockey history. In addition, only one goaltender in the 58 years of Bemidji State hockey has accumulated more shutouts during his career than Scanlan's nine.

Enshrined into the Bemidji State Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the 1978-79 and 1979-80 men's hockey teams, Scanlan was named as one of the Bemidji State men's hockey program's 50 Legends for 50 Years in 2005-06.

Scanlan has been active in several Minnesota State High School League initiatives, Region 8A, USA Hockey and the American Hockey Coaches Association. He has also been active on Bemidji State's men's hockey national hockey committee, the East Grand Forks Blue Line Club and the East Grand Forks Sports Booster Club.

Scanlan and his wife Cyndy are both Bemidji State graduates and raised three children.