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Potulny era ends at NMU hockey

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Grant Potulny has stepped down as head coach of the Northern Michigan University (NMU) hockey program. In a release from NMU athletics on Tuesday morning, it was announced that Potulny was leaving the program to pursue a position at the professional hockey level.

Athletic Director Rick Comley takes over as interim head coach in the meantime while a nationwide search for a permanent head coach begins.

According to the release, both associate head coach Byron Pool and assistant coach Nick Peruzzi have accepted coaching positions outside of NMU.

“Grant is a very good hockey coach and professional teams have realized that,” said Comley. “On behalf of Northern, I want to thank Grant and his staff for their outstanding work with the Wildcat Hockey program, and wish them great success with their new teams.”

NMU President Brock Tessman added, “Like Rick, I want to also thank Grant for his strong seven seasons at Northern, and thank Byron and Nick, too. Men’s ice hockey is one of NMU’s premier athletic programs and the only one at the NCAA Division I level, so it is incredibly fortunate to have one of the greatest coaches to ever stand behind NCAA Division I hockey bench here to guide our current and incoming players during this transition, and to work on the logistics of preparing for next season while we complete the national search this summer. Thank you, Rick. Wildcat Hockey is in great hands until we choose our new coach.”

The Potulny era with the Wilcats comes to a close as they finished last season with a 12-16-6 overall and 10-10-4 conference record. Under his direction, NMU reached the 2020-2021 WCHA and 2022-2023 CCHA conference championship games.

Potulny’s record with the program is 128-113-17 overall and 95-69-11 in conference play.

A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday morning with Rick Comley and University President, Dr. Brock Tessman. Local 3 News will provide updates as the situation develops.

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