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HOCKEY: Poulin resigns

Justin Schuver | Monday, April 18, 2005

Dave Poulin resigned Friday morning, stepping down after 10 seasons as head hockey coach to take on a position in athletic administration as the special assistant to the senior associate athletic director for athletic development.In a statement released Friday, Poulin thanked Notre Dame for the opportunity to lead the hockey program and looked forward to his chance to further serve the program in his new position.”Coaching hockey brought me to Notre Dame – and it has been tremendous for both me and my family,” Poulin said in the release. “What stand out for me are the players I’ve coached and the relationships I’ve had. I’m very excited about the challenge ahead of me. I’m looking forward to being a big part of Notre Dame’s future.”Poulin declined further comment when contacted by The Observer Friday afternoon.Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White announced the change shortly after Poulin had completed an early morning meeting to inform the team of his resignation.”First and foremost, we are all very much appreciative of Dave’s devotion to Irish hockey,” White said in the release. “I could not be more excited about his transition to a very significant development role – most immediately as it related to our plans to renovate the north dome of the Joyce Center and all that will mean for our hockey program.”During Poulin’s tenure, the Irish amassed a 139-197-50 (.425 winning percentage) record and a 99-145-41 (.419) mark in CCHA play. Notre Dame advanced to the CCHA Super Six in four of the last six seasons (2000, 2002-04) and turned in one of its best seasons ever in 2004 – collecting a 20-15-4 record and advancing to the NCAA tournament for the first time in the program’s 37-year history.But his final season was marked with inconsistency as the Irish finished 2004-05 with a record of 5-27-6 – the worst ever in Poulin’s 10-year tenure.”The onus is on each one of us and individuals and as a team so we’re all disappointed,” Irish assistant captain Mike Walsh said. “For this to happen at the end is just kind of the crowning point [of the season].”Irish captain Cory McLean, who along with goalie Morgan Cey is the only member of this year’s senior class, said that Poulin’s resignation was unexpected.”I was surprised. He’s been here 10 years,” McLean said. “We’ve had a couple of good years since I’ve been here so I was a little surprised. But one the things was that [Poulin] always wanted to leave on his own terms and he felt like this was the time to go so I wish him the best.”The release said Poulin’s new responsibilities will include assisting senior associate athletic director Bill Scholl with a variety of projects, in particular working with the University to identify possible donors with the goal of renovating Notre Dame’s existing hockey facility.”[Poulin] loves a challenge and it’s going to be a challenge,” McLean said. “He’s been trying to do things with this rink for a while now, and I think he’ll be a big voice because not only is he an ND alum but he’s one of the top [hockey] players to come out of here. He’s going to have a strong voice and I think he’s going to get the job done.”Poulin was a four-year player for Notre Dame, wearing the Irish uniform from 1978-82. His 89 goals rank fifth on the all-time Notre Dame record list, his 107 assists rank him seventh and his 196 points rank him sixth.Poulin is also tied for first in game-winning goals (13) and hat tricks (eight). After a year of professional hockey in Sweden, Poulin was signed by the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. He was a three-time NHL all star during his 13-year career that including stints with the Flyers, the Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals. Poulin returned to his alma mater in 1995, and is second on the all-time wins list, trailing only Charles “Lefty” Smith, who is the all-time leader with 307 wins.As of press time, there has been no announcement on Poulin’s successor.