Division III St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota announced today that they have hired former Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves.
Eaves comes to St. Olaf with one of the most decorated resumes in D-3 with 14 years head coaching experience at the Division I level, including a D-1 national title. He also has a World Juniors gold medal as a head coach, and five seasons experience as an NHL assistant coach. He's also no stranger to southern Minnesota, having spent two years just 13 miles down the road from St. Olaf as head coach of the Shattuck-St. Mary's Prep team in Faribault.
He's taking over a St. Olaf squad that finished 6-14-5 overall last season and tied for sixth in the nine team Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Eaves buyout at the University of Wisconsin required him to be paid the full value of the contract until the end of June 2019. The contract did state that in the event of his termination, Eaves had to "make reasonable and diligent efforts to obtain comparable employment, such as a coaching position at an NCAA Division I college or university hockey program or with a professional hockey team as soon as reasonably possible". In the event that Eaves found a new job, Wisconsin would only be responsible for paying the difference in base salary between his new job and his old job. So this doesn't completely mitigate, but certainly lessens the financial sting of Eaves' buyout with Wisconsin.
In all, it's tremendous news to see one of the more interesting figures in all of college hockey back in the game.