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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kallay leaves Michigan Tech staff

Michigan Tech assistant hockey coach Ian Kallay will leave his post immediately to pursue private business interests.

"It was a very hard decision for my wife and I to leave Michigan Tech," said Kallay. "A business opportunity has presented itself that we couldn't turn down.

"I have enjoyed my time here and value the relationships I have made along the way. I will miss working with the coaching staff and would like to thank them as they have been great to me. Jamie (Russell) and Pat (Mikesch) are very passionate and dedicated to the program. The program is going in the right direction and will be successful in the future. The hardest part is leaving the players. Watching them develop as student-athletes and helping them achieve their goals is the best part as a coach, and I will miss that."

Kallay completed his third year as an assistant coach at Michigan Tech in 2005-06 after being appointed to the position on July 1, 2003. In addition to his recruiting duties, Kallay was responsible for on-ice coaching, video breakdown, game analysis, and played a vital role in coordinating the Huskies' specialty teams.

"Although we are sad to lose an outstanding coach like Ian, we know that he is doing something outside of hockey that will provide the best future for him and his family," said MTU head coach Jamie Russell. "The goal of every coach is to leave a program better than when they arrived and Ian certainly accomplished that here. Not only was he a very good coach, but his work on the recruiting trail was crucial for the future success of this program."

During Kallay's tenure at Tech, he coached two All-Americans, four All-WCHA selections, one Hobey Baker Award finalist and 31 WCHA All-Academic Team recipients.

"While we would like to have Ian here for a longer period of time, we respect his decision to enter a business career," said Michigan Tech athletic director Suzanne Sanregret. "We wish Ian well and thank him for the many contributions he made to the Michigan Tech hockey program."

Kallay returned to college hockey after two highly-successful seasons as the head coach and general manager of the Drayton Valley Thunder of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. During the 2001-02 campaign, he led Drayton Valley to the AJHL title and a 44-17-3 record. Then, in 2002-03, Kallay guided the team to a 37-20-7 mark and was named the AJHL Coach of the Year.

Prior to his stint at Drayton Valley, Kallay spent two years as an assistant coach in the United States Hockey League, including the 1999-2000 campaign with the Sioux City Musketeers and the 2000-01 season with the Green Bay Gamblers.

The Whitecourt, Alberta, native was a standout college hockey player for the North Dakota Fighting Sioux from 1995-97. He recorded 45 points on 23 goals and 22 assists in 35 games played in 1995-96 in helping UND to a 19-18-1 mark. The next season he recorded 16 goals and 23 assists in 41 games played and helped the Sioux win the national championship. He then went on to play professionally but suffered a career-ending back injury and returned to his alma mater to serve as a graduate assistant coach.

A national search to fill Michigan Tech's assistant coaching vacancy is underway.

"We'll move as quickly as possible," said Russell. "That being said, we will take enough time to ensure that we bring in a strong individual."

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