WMU News

Culhane receives two-year contract extension

Dec. 7, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Jim Culhane, head coach of the Western Michigan University hockey team, has been given a two-year extension on his contract, Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard announced today.

Culhane, in his second full season with the Broncos, originally signed a three-year deal that ran through April 30, 2002. Under the new agreement, Culhane is inked through April 30, 2004. His career record at the school is 25-26-7.

"Jim has made a commitment to the university and we wanted to make a commitment to him," Beauregard said. "We are very excited about the progress Jim has made with the program in a short time. His vision for the team and the response from the student-athletes has been tremendous."

Culhane has led WMU to an 11-2-2 record and a No. 6 national ranking this season. The Broncos entered December with an unblemished league record (5-0-2) becoming the first CCHA school to do so since 1993.

"I'm excited about the extension, and the trust President Floyd and Kathy Beauregard have placed in myself, our coaching staff and our student-athletes," Culhane said. "We are also thankful to the community and the students for the support they've shown for their program."

Culhane, 35, was named WMU's fourth head coach on March 3, 1999. He spent nine games behind the bench at the end of the 1998-99 season, including seven in an interim capacity. In his first full season, Culhane produced the seventh-most improved team in the nation as the Broncos doubled their win total (12) and made the CCHA playoffs for the first time in three years.

In addition, the Broncos knocked off four nationally-ranked teams and tied another, while posting the second-best power play unit in the conference at 19.3 percent.

Western Michigan has thrived this season under the up-tempo, "run and gun" offense installed by Culhane. Team captain David Gove leads the nation in scoring with 2.38 points per game. Center Mike Bishai ranks second (2.30 ppg) and left wing Steve Rymsha sixth (1.77 ppg)*. Right Wing Jeff Campbell is the NCAA's highest scoring freshman (1.46 ppg). Bronco players have also garnered five CCHA Player of the Week honors, more than any other school.

Culhane's coaching staff consists of assistants Scott Garrow and Chris Brooks, along with volunteer coach Brendan Kenny. All four played for the Broncos between the years 1982-97. Culhane has received two degrees from Western Michigan.

"We're really excited, not only about the rest of this season, but looking forward to a bright future with the Hockey Broncos," Culhane said.

*Statistics compiled by U.S. College Hockey Online

For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web <www.wmubroncos.com>.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122; daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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