There was some some surprising news out of Duluth on Monday night when the school announced that they will not renew the contract of women's hockey head coach Shannon Miller at the end of this season.
Miller is in her 16th season as head coach of the Bulldogs. She has amassed a record of 375-137-48 for a .718 winning percentage, and won five national titles for the Bulldogs along with two other trips to the women's Frozen Four.
But Miller was also the highest-paid coach in women's hockey, making a base salary of $215,000, and the Bulldogs have not enjoyed the same success in recent years that they once did. Over the past three seasons, UMD is only five games over .500 and has not appeared in the NCAA tournament. Though this season has been better--the Bulldogs rolled off 9 straight wins at one point--they're still a clear step behind powerhouse programs Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Miller told the Duluth News-Tribune that she told the University that she was open to taking a pay cut to remain at the school, but that no formal number or offers were made. Minnesota Duluth athletic director Josh Berlo called the decision not to renew Miller a 'difficult financial decision'.
Still, the timing seems strange to announce in the middle of the season--a season where UMD is still strongly in the running for an NCAA tournament bid, by the way-- with Miller expected to finish out the season as a lameduck coach.