NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Head Coaching Carousel Continues

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NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Head Coaching Carousel Continues
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Mark Osiecki is out after three seasons as Ohio State's head coach.

Ohio State is now looking for a new men's head hockey coach, while Denver got a former college star to guide its fortunes.

Denver has locked up Jim Montgomery as its next head coach, as reported in the Denver Post.

He replaces George Gwozdecky, who was let go after 19 seasons and two NCAA championships.

"I was aware of the (turmoil), but this is the job I wanted," said Montgomery. "This is a job where you can win, and win at a very high level."

The all-time leading scorer in University of Maine history with 301 career points, Montgomery helped the Black Bears to their first NCAA title in 1993 and played 122 NHL games over 12 seasons with the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers.

A former assistant coach at both Rensselaer and Notre Dame, he has spent the last three seasons as general manager/head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League, winning the league's Clark Cup championship in 2011.

Montgomery will join Denver when Dubuque's current campaign ends.

Ohio State and head coach Mark Osiecki, meanwhile, have parted ways after just three seasons, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The former Wisconsin player and assistant coach went 46-50-16 in his brief tenure, guiding the Buckeyes to this year's Central Collegiate Hockey association semifinals in Detroit for the first time in eight years, but no NCAA Tournament appearances.

Osiecki was let go after a meeting on Monday morning with OSU athletic director Gene Smith, apparently over a "difference of opinion over the management of the program."

“It was a very brief meeting,” said Osiecki, who also coached the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers for seven seasons. “I’m as surprised as anybody. I was shocked.”

Associate head coach Steve Rohlik, another Wisconsin alumnus, has been announced as the Buckeyes' interim head coach. Ohio State will join the new Big Ten Hockey Conference this fall with the dissolution of the CCHA.

Former Denver coach Gwozdecky, who was not retained by the Pioneers after 19 seasons, is still available. He is considered to be a prime candidate for the open Maine job, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Last week, USCHO.com reported that Maine had tabbed assistant coach and former forward Bob Corkum as the Black Bears' interim head coach after 12-year head coach Tim Whitehead was not retained. The university just announced the formation of a search committee to determine Maine's next full-time head coach.

Gwozdecky may also be a candidate for the Ohio State head coaching position. He was an assistant at Michigan State during the Spartans' 1985-86 NCAA championship season, and was head coach at Miami (Ohio) before going to Denver in 1994. He was also perceived as one of the driving forces behind the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference that begins play this fall, and will include both Denver and Miami.

Also still seeking a head coach is Alaska Anchorage, which let Dave Shyiak go last month after eight seasons with the Seawolves. UAA has been looking at candidates, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Former UAA head and assistant coach John Hill has also applied for the job.

UConn, which will move to the Hockey East Association in 2014, is also in the market for a new bench boss to replace Bruce Marshall, who stepped down during the 2012-23 season after 25 years at the Husky helm. Former Providence goaltender and assistant coach David Berard served as UConn's interim head coach the second half of last season.

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