Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves. (Photo by David Stluka)

Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves. (Photo by David Stluka)

Mike Eaves has accomplished a considerable amount as Wisconsin‘s hockey coach in his 14-seasons on the job, not to mention a distinguished playing career.  But back-to-back losing seasons has cost Eaves his job.

Eaves remains the all-time leading scorer in program history, a three-time captain, a two-time MVP and a member of the UW Athletic Hall of Fame.

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez fired Eaves today after the Badgers saw their season end with a 5-2 loss to Penn State in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday in St. Paul, Minnesota.

After a 24-win season two years ago, the Badgers have managed to win just 12-games over the last two seasons.  After winning just four games last season, the Badgers doubled that total, winning just eight this past season.

Wisconsin’s 4-26-5 record a year ago was the fewest wins and most losses in a single season in modern program history.

Alvarez told UWBadgers.com, “Our fans and everyone expect more.  With our facilities and what we have to sell, we feel we should be at a championship level.”

“I told Mike I appreciated the work he’s done here.  I also told him that we have great tradition and standards here in hockey.  He’s the gate-keeper of hockey. I’m the gate-keeper of the department. We both have a responsibility.”

Eaves accomplishments as a player and coach made the decision difficult for Alvarez.

“I like Mike and I respect Mike,” Alvarez said.  “All those things play into it.  That’s what makes it very hard.

“These are never easy decisions, but I’ve got a responsibility of the University, to our fans and to everyone else.  It’s just not acceptable at Wisconsin to have a hockey program in this state where we are right now.”

Eaves teams compiled a 267-225-66 (.538) record and made seven NCAA tournament appearances, including winning the 2006 NCAA title and finishing runner-up in 2010, during his 14 seasons at the helm.

A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

AUDIO: Q & A with Badger hockey play-by-play voice Brian Posick on the Mike Eaves firing 14:00

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