March 23, 2013
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Don Lucia, one of the most successful collegiate coaches in the United States today, has been named head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team, USA Hockey announced tonight at a press conference at the Xcel Energy Center.
The U.S. National Junior Team will compete in 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden. The U.S. is seeking its fourth medal in five years, having won gold in 2013 and 2010, and the bronze medal in 2011.
In his 26th season as a head men's ice hockey coach at the NCAA Division I level, Lucia's 622 wins rank fourth all-time among active coaches. He has won two national titles (Minnesota-2002, 2003) and his teams have averaged nearly 24 victories per season.
"We're extremely pleased to have Don as the head coach of our National Junior Team," said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director for hockey operations at USA Hockey, who will also serve as general manager of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team. "He has developed some of the best American-born players over the last 25 years and has excelled at each stop in his career. He's a proven winner and without question one of our nation's premier coaches."
"I'm honored to have the opportunity to represent our country as the head coach of the National Junior Team," said Lucia, who was the recipient of the Spencer Penrose Award as the nation's top collegiate coach in 1994 and is also a three-time Western Collegiate Hockey Association Coach of the Year honoree. "Last summer, I had a chance to work with many of the players who will be on the radar for the 2014 squad and I look forward to getting back to Lake Placid this August for our camp as we begin preparations for the World Junior Championship in December."
Lucia has had a variety of U.S. coaching positions. Last August, he was a camp coach at the 2012 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. In 1996, he served as head coach of the U.S. Select-16 Team in a series vs. Finland. In 1995, he was the head coach of Team West at the United States Olympic Festival in Denver, and later that year was an assistant coach for the U.S. Men's Select Team that competed for the Tampere Cup in Finland.
Lucia has been the head men's ice hockey coach at the University of Minnesota since the 1999-2000 season, winning national titles in 2002 and 2003, and guiding the Gophers to two other Frozen Four appearances (2005, 2012). From 1993-99, he was at the helm of the Colorado College program, which he took to a pair of NCAA Frozen Fours (1996, 1997). Lucia began his head-coaching career in 1987 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he stayed until 1993. Lucia's first coaching stint came as an assistant coach at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (1981-85). He also served two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Alaska Anchorage (1985-87).
A native of Grand Rapids, Minn., Lucia played collegiately at the University of Notre Dame (1977-81).
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