Winning Ways

NMU hockey coach reflects on first year, raising expectations for upcoming season

In his first year as the head coach of the NMU hockey wildcats, Grant Potulny guided his team to their best record since the 2001-2002 season. He was later named WCHA Coach of the Year. (NMU photo)

By Michael Murray
In his first season as Northern Michigan University’s head hockey coach, Grant Potulny led the Wildcats to an overall record of 25-15-3 and an appearance in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association championship game. The 2017-18 season was NMU’s first winning campaign in six years, and its win total was the highest since 2001-02.
At the conclusion of the season, Potulny was named WCHA Coach of the Year, and the university rewarded him with a contract extension through 2026 that will pay him $285,000 annually.
Potulny, a native of Grand Forks, North Dakota, came to Marquette from the University of Minnesota, where he spent eight seasons as an assistant coach. During his playing career at Minnesota, Potulny was a three-year team captain and a two-time national champion.
I met with Potulny recently to talk about his first year at Northern. Here is a condensed version of the interview:

At this time last year, you were being introduced as the Wildcats’…..

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