Mike Babcock steps down as University of Saskatchewan head coach

·2 min read
Former NHL head coach Mike Babcock is resigning from his job with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. (Getty Images)
Former NHL head coach Mike Babcock is resigning from his job with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. (Getty Images)

Former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock has resigned from his position as head coach of the University of Saskatchewan's men's hockey team.

Babcock spent only one season at the helm, guiding the Huskies to a 14-9 record before falling to the Calgary Dinos in a best-of-three series in the Canada West quarter-finals.

The team announced on Thursday that Babcock's assistant coach last year, Brandin Cote, will take over coaching duties on an interim basis.

"I'm excited for Brandin and his family. He is prepared to be a highly successful coach," said Babcock. "I believe he will elevate the Huskies play and profile even further. I look forward to seeing him continue down the path of what promises to be an incredible career."

Cote, 41, played four seasons under Babcock's guise with the Western Hockey League's Spokane Chiefs between 1996 and 2000.

"I'd like to thank Mike Babcock for his mentorship and commitment to the program over the past year," Cote said in statement. "I look forward to building upon the rich foundation of history and excellence that is synonymous with Huskie men's hockey."

Babcock, 59, joined the Huskies on a volunteer basis in February 2021.

Prior to his venture in U Sports, the Manitouwadge, Ontario native spent 17 seasons as a head coach in the NHL, splitting 1,301 games between the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings and Maple Leafs. Babcock owns a 700-418-19-164 record, with 14 playoff appearances and a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008.

He last coached in the NHL with Toronto, where he was fired 23 games into the 2019-2020 season.

On the international stage, Babcock has coached Canada to two Olympic gold medals, World Juniors gold, World Championship gold and a World Cup of Hockey title. He is the first and only coach to be a member of the triple gold club, which includes those who have won Olympic and World Championship gold, as well as a Stanley Cup.

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