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Friday, June 10, 2011

Huskies hire Muckalt as assistant coach

Michigan Tech Press Release

Michigan Tech announced Thursday the addition of Bill Muckalt to the Huskies staff as an assistant coach.

Muckalt, a former Michigan Wolverine and five-year veteran of the NHL, will begin his duties today.

"I had the opportunity to recruit and coach Bill, and he was an outstanding player," said MTU head coach Mel Pearson. "He has a great work ethic and tremendous passion for the game. His experience gives him a good network for recruiting and a keen eye for talent. Bill will be a great addition to our staff."

Muckalt spent last season as the head coach of the New Mexico Mustangs (pictured above), an expansion franchise in the North American Hockey League. He started the team from scratch, developing all aspects of the operation including coaching, recruiting and scouting. The Mustangs, which were made up of 21 rookies, compiled a 19-35-4 record with 15 wins in their last 27 games.

Prior to his stint in New Mexico, Muckalt served as head coach of the Valencia (Calif.) Flyers of the Western States Hockey League, where his squad went 20-16-3. He also worked as head instructor of Summer Hockey School at Ice Station Valencia.

Muckalt gained coaching experience with Eastern Michigan University's club hockey team as assistant coach in 2006-07 and head coach in 2007-08.

"I am very excited to be a part of a program that has such a rich history," said Muckalt. "The chance to work with Mel, who has had a big influence in my life both in hockey and personally, was a very easy choice. I have seen the commitment that the university administration has made to the hockey program, and I can't wait to get started."

Pearson recruited Muckalt to play at Michigan starting in 1994-95, and the two won 130 games and two national championships over the next four years. The winger posted 105 career goals and 226 total points. He earned All-America First Team honors and was a Hobey Baker Award finalist while leading the Wolverines to the 1998 NCAA title.

Muckalt graduated from Michigan with a degree in sports management and communications, then made the jump straight into the NHL where he played five seasons. His most productive season came as a rookie with the Vancouver Canucks, where he posted 16 goals and 20 assists in 73 games.

Pearson also announced that Damon Whitten will remain on staff as the team's other full-time assistant coach.

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