WMU News

Wilkinson relieved of coaching duties

February 3, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University announced today that Bill Wilkinson has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the hockey team, effective immediately.

Wilkinson will be reassigned within the department as a special assistant to Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard. Assistant coach Jim Culhane will assume head coaching duties on an interim basis and will be a candidate for the head coaching position. A search for Wilkinson's replacement will begin immediately.

"We appreciate Bill's many years of loyal service to this institution," Beauregard said. "The University felt it was time for a change in the leadership of the hockey program. The University remains committed to fulfilling the terms of Coach Wilkinson's contract."

Terms of Wilkinson's contract run through June 30, 2000.

Now in his 17th year at WMU, Wilkinson had compiled a career coaching record of 313-301-53 at the helm of the Broncos. Western is 3-16-6 this season with nine games remaining. The Broncos finished 10-25-3 overall, 9-19-2 and in ninth place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association last season.

WMU reached the NCAA tournament three times under Wilkinson's direction and won the 1986 CCHA tournament championship. WMU reached the CCHA Final Four Championship series at Joe Louis Arena six times during his tenure.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4138; daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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