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Bulldogs sign Crowell, Wiese to contract extensions

Head women’s hockey coach Maura Crowell and head football coach Curt Wiese. (Submitted photos)

The contract extensions announced Wednesday by Minnesota Duluth for football’s Curt Wiese and women’s hockey’s Maura Crowell not only gave the head coaches and their staff peace of mind moving forward.

It also reassures their current and future players that neither is going anywhere any time soon.

Wiese, who was entering the final year of a four-year deal signed in 2014, received a three-year extension and is now signed through the 2020-21 sports season. Crowell, meanwhile, landed an extra two years and is now locked up through 2021-22.

Terms of the extensions were not disclosed by UMD and copies of the coaches’ new contracts were not made available Wednesday.

Both coaches pointed out how much their new deals will benefit them out on the recruiting trail. As Wiese said, one of the questions he hears most from recruits is, ‘Coach, how long are you going to be there?’ “

Now he has an answer.

“The biggest part of this is being able to look at our team knowing that I’m going to be here to see these guys graduate,” Wiese said, “and know I will be here for our next recruiting class, to see them graduate as well.”

Wiese took over head coaching duties at UMD in 2013 after serving five years as offensive coordinator. He has since led the Bulldogs to four NSIC North Division titles, one overall NSIC championship and three NCAA Division II playoff appearances. His 43-8 record as head coach includes a perfect regular season in 2014.

“It’s terrific to continue to have Coach Wiese at the helm of our program,” UMD athletic director Josh Berlo said. “He’s such a great leader of the young men in that program and an important voice in our department and institution.”

Crowell has compiled a 40-28-6 record in her first two seasons at UMD. In 2016-17, she was named the national coach of the year in NCAA Division I by the American Hockey Coaches Association and USCHO.com — as well as WCHA Coach of the Year — after leading the Bulldogs to a 25-7-5 mark that included an appearance in the WCHA Final Face-Off championship and the team’s first home NCAA tournament quarterfinal game since 2010.

"It's an honor that they have the confidence in me to lead the program for an additional couple years," Crowell said. "I'm glad they see and like the direction the program is going in. Obviously I do too."

Crowell’s previous deal that she signed when she was hired in 2015 wasn’t set to expire until after the 2019-20 season, but the program is already battling its rivals for players who won’t graduate high school until 2020 and 2021.

Berlo said college women’s hockey’s current landscape signaled the timing was right to extend Crowell’s stay at UMD.

“We felt like this was a good time given some of the circumstances in women’s college hockey for us to continue to be very strong with the status and support of our program,” Berlo said.

Matt Wellens

College hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune covering the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs men's and women's teams, as well as the NCAA Division III programs at St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior.

(218) 723-5317
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