According to a tweet from Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal, Mike Eaves has fired assistant men's hockey coaches Gary Shuchuk and Matt Walsh.
#Badgers coach Mike Eaves confirms he's fired assistants Gary Shuchuk and Matt Walsh.— Andy Baggot (@AndyBaggotWSJ) April 8, 2015
Eaves said he met with AD Barry Alvarez for the first time since the season ended on Tuesday afternoon. Within hours, Eaves met face to face with his assistants inform them of the news that he was going to make changes.
"This falls under the category of taking extreme measures to make sure that we get out of this and get the program back where it needs to be," Eaves told the State Journal Tuesday night.
The Badgers are coming off the worst season in program history, finishing the year with an embarrassing 4-26-5 record.
To make matters worse, in a March interview with the local newspaper, Shuchuk, who played for the Badgers and won a national championship in 1990, called out UW's "idiot fans out there that just care about the wins and losses and all that stuff."
Shuchuk later apologized for the remark, but his fate was likely sealed that day.
In Shuchuk's five years as an assistant with the Badgers, Wisconsin had a cumulative record of 88-84-20 (.501 win percentage). UW won two league playoff championships and qualified for the NCAA tournament two out of five seasons.
A member of Wisconsin's 1983 national championship team, Walsh was hired eight games into the 2012-13 season after former assistant coach Bill Butters abruptly resigned.
Shuchuk ($117,312 ) and Walsh ($90,041) were on one-year contracts with the University, set to expire June 30, 2015.
It remains to be seen what direction Eaves moves going forward, but needless to say, his next two hires are crucial.
Alvarez stated publicly that he won't fire Eaves after the abysmal season the Badgers just had. He did note that Eaves must "tear that program apart and sit down and explain how we get that back on track.’’
Replacing the assistant coaches appears to be step No. 1 in that process.
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