Toronto, ON- The University of Saskatchewan has found their man. The Huskies men’s hockey program has hired two-time Olympic champion Mike Babcock, as their Head Coach.
Former Huskies Head Coach Dave Adolph announced his retirement plans in December 2020, leaving a vacancy with one of the premier programs in U SPORTS. Adolph led the Huskies for 28 years and is the all-time wins leader for U SPORTS hockey. He will officially leave the program on May 1.
Babcock comes to the University of Saskatchewan with a pair of Olympic gold medals after coaching the Canadian team in 2010 and 2014 and a Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings.
The 57-year-old returns to a bench boss role for the first time since 2019, when the Toronto Maple Leafs fired him from his position as Head Coach. Babcock returns to Canadian university hockey after 17 years in the NHL.
“This is an exciting and historic day for Huskie Athletics, and we are thrilled that Mike wants to come back home to lead our men’s hockey program,” said Dave Hardy, the Huskies Chief Athletics Officer. “We are extremely fortunate that the timing lined up perfectly to create this opportunity. Mike’s track record of success speaks for itself, and he will be a great addition to Huskie Athletics, to the men’s hockey program, and to the local hockey community.”
The Huskies job is not the first U SPORTS position for Babcock, who led the U Lethbridge Pronghorns to their only national championship in 1994. When he joined the Pronghorns, he replaced Adolph, who had left for the Huskies. This is the second time that Babcock is replacing Adolph as a university head coach.
Babcock is also a former university player himself, playing briefly for the Huskies before spending four seasons with the McGill men’s hockey team.
“This is a special place for me, and I look forward to having the chance to help develop these young men,” Babcock said in a Huskies release. “Saskatchewan has provided me many opportunities in my life and my career, and I am truly excited about the opportunity to give back.”
The U of Saskatchewan Huskies won the 2019-20 Canada West championship and recently moved into a new arena in Merlis Belsher Place. Babcock will officially join the team upon Adolph’s retirement in May and lead the Huskies to another Canada West championship in 2021-22.