Don Lucia

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Don Lucia
Sport(s) Ice hockey
Current position
Title Head Coach
Team Minnesota
Biographical details
Born (1958-08-20) August 20, 1958 (age 58)
Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1987–1993 Alaska-Fairbanks
1993–1999 Colorado College
1999–Present Minnesota
Head coaching record
Overall 680-381-105 (.628)
Accomplishments and honors
1988 Great West Champion
1994 WCHA Champion
1995 WCHA Champion
1996 WCHA Champion
2002 NCAA National Champion
2003 WCHA Tournament Champion
2003 NCAA National Champion
2004 WCHA Tournament Champion
2006 WCHA Champion
2007 WCHA Champion
2007 WCHA Tournament Champion
2012 WCHA Champion
2013 WCHA Champion
2014 Big Ten Champion
2015 Big Ten Champion
2015 Big Ten Tournament Champion
2016 Big Ten Champion
1994 WCHA Coach of the Year
1994 Spencer Penrose Award
1996 WCHA Coach of the Year
2006 WCHA Coach of the Year
2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year

Don Lucia (born August 20, 1958) is the head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers men's hockey team.[1] He has twice led the Golden Gophers to the NCAA National Championship title, in 2002 and 2003.[2] Under Lucia, the Golden Gophers have won four MacNaughton Cups (awarded to the WCHA's regular season champion), the Broadmoor Trophy three times (awarded to the WCHA playoff champion),[1] and the Big Ten regular season championship in each of that league's first four seasons. He has coached one Hobey Baker Award winner, Jordan Leopold.[3] He is one of 10 coaches to record more than 600 NCAA men's ice hockey wins, and one of four to win national titles in consecutive years.[4] Lucia graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1981, where he played defense for the school's hockey team.[1][4] He is married to his wife Joyce, with whom he shares 4 kids: Allison, Jessica, Tony, and Mario.[5]

Personal information[edit]

Lucia has two sons who have been picked in the NHL Entry Draft. Tony Lucia (born 1987), who is currently playing in the American Hockey League with the Worcester Sharks, was selected in the 6th round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks;[6] and Mario Lucia (born 1993), who is currently playing for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men's ice hockey team in the NCAA's Hockey East, was selected in the 2nd round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild.

During the 2008–2009 season, Lucia was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, but only missed four games while battling the autoimmune disease. This illness, combined with a growing number of college hockey players taking their talents to the NHL, led Lucia's Gophers to a 17–18–2 record during the 2009–2010 season. This season was Lucia's only year with a losing record with the Gophers, and his first since coaching Alaska-Fairbanks in the 1991–1992 season.[4]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks (Great West) (1987–1988)
1987-88 Alaska-Fairbanks 21–10–2 5–3–0 1st
Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks (Independent) (1988–1993)
1988-89 Alaska-Fairbanks 21–12–3
1989-90 Alaska-Fairbanks 10–20–9
1990-91 Alaska-Fairbanks 17–16–2
1991-92 Alaska-Fairbanks 7–27–1
1992-93 Alaska-Fairbanks 23–12–2
Alaska-Fairbanks: 99–97–19
Colorado College Tigers (WCHA) (1993–1999)
1993-94 Colorado College 23–11–5 18–9–5 1st WCHA First Round
1994-95 Colorado College 30–12–1 22–9–1 1st NCAA West Regional Semifinals
1995-96 Colorado College 33–5–4 26–2–4 1st NCAA Runner-Up
1996-97 Colorado College 25–15–4 17–11–4 T-4th NCAA Frozen Four
1997-98 Colorado College 26–13–3 16–10–2 3rd NCAA East Regional Semifinals
1998-99 Colorado College 29–12–1 20–8–0 2nd NCAA East Regional Semifinals
Colorado College: 166–68–18 119–49–16
Minnesota Golden Gophers (WCHA) (1999–2013)
1999-00 Minnesota 20–19–2 13–13–2 6th WCHA Third Place Game (Loss)
2000-01 Minnesota 27–13–2 18–8–2 3rd NCAA East Regional Quarterfinals
2001-02 Minnesota 32–8–4 18–7–3 3rd NCAA National Champion
2002-03 Minnesota 28–8–9 15–6–7 T-2nd NCAA National Champion
2003-04 Minnesota 27–14–3 15–12–1 T-4th NCAA Midwest Regional Final
2004-05 Minnesota 28–15–1 17–10–1 T-3rd NCAA Frozen Four
2005-06 Minnesota 27–9–5 20–5–3 1st NCAA West Regional Semifinals
2006-07 Minnesota 31–10–3 18–7–3 1st NCAA West Regional Final
2007-08 Minnesota 19–17–9 9–12–7 7th NCAA Northeast Regional Semifinals
2008-09 Minnesota 17–13–7 12–11–5 5th WCHA Quarterfinal
2009-10 Minnesota 18–19–2 12–14–2 7th WCHA First Round
2010-11 Minnesota 16–14–6 13–10–5 5th WCHA First Round
2011-12 Minnesota 28–13–1 20–8–0 1st NCAA Frozen Four
2012-13 Minnesota 26–9–5 16–7–5 T-1st NCAA West Regional Semifinals
Minnesota: 344–181–59 206–118–39
Minnesota Golden Gophers (Big Ten) (2013–present)
2013-14 Minnesota 28–6–6 14–3–3 1st NCAA Runner-Up
2014-15 Minnesota 23–12–3 12–5–3 1st NCAA Northeast Regional Semifinals
2015-16 Minnesota 20–17–0 14–6–0 1st Big Ten Runner-Up
Minnesota: 71–35–9 40–14–6
Total: 680-381-105

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Don Lucia Bio". Gopher Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  2. ^ "Isles GM Rips Lucia". College Hockey 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  3. ^ "Jordan Leopold's bio". Vintage Minnesota Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  4. ^ a b c Borzi, Pat. "Once-Embattled Coach Has Gophers Golden Again." New York Times 8 Feb. 2013: B11(L). Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  5. ^ "SURVIVING STORMY DAYS; Don Lucia's charmed life hit a rough spell over the past couple of years, particularly when the Gophers hockey coach was hit with a rare disease that affected his even-keeled personality." Star Tribune [Minneapolis, MN] 19 Dec. 2010: 1C. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
George Gwozdecky
Spencer Penrose Award
Succeeded by
Shawn Walsh
Preceded by
Mike Sertich
George Gwozdecky
George Gwozdecky/Bob Motzko
WCHA Coach of the Year
2005–06 (co-winner with Jamie Russell)
Succeeded by
George Gwozdecky
Dean Blais
Bob Motzko
Preceded by
Award Created
Big Ten Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Guy Gadowsky