Monday in what some thought was an April Fools joke University of Denver fired George Gwozdecky, one of the most successful college coaches in division 1 hockey. Gwozdecky has been head coach for 19 years, and won national championships in 2004 and 2005. The school said a national search for his replacement will begin immediately.

When Gwozdecky came to Denver the Pioneers ice hockey program was not very good. It had been over 20 years since Murray Armstrong led the Pioneers to five national titles. So Gwozdecky had his work cut out for him when he took over in 1994. Over the past 19 years he built a program that has gone 443-267-64 and became a fixture in the NCAA tournament. Besides the two national championships the program has produced some pretty good professionals. Matt Pettinger, Matt Carle, Mark Rycroft, Tyler Bozak and Peter Stastny are all playing in the NHL. That’s why so many in the hockey world are so shocked that Gwozdecky was fired.

This is a real loss for the University of Denver and I think they will be hard pressed to find a coach to replace him. George Gwozdecky will not be out of work long, I’m sure a coach of his quality has already gotten offers.