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Mike Eaves

In a coaching tenure that ran from 2002 to 2016, Mike Eaves won the 2006 national championship and was runner-up in 2010.

Former University of Wisconsin men's hockey coach Mike Eaves is moving back to the professional level.

Eaves, 63, was announced Tuesday as the head coach of the American Hockey League Cleveland Monsters, the top affiliate of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets.

He spent the last three seasons coaching Division III St. Olaf following 14 seasons with the Badgers.

Eaves was 267-225-66 with UW, winning the 2006 NCAA championship and falling in the 2010 title game. He was fired after the 2015-16 season.

At St. Olaf, he had a 21-44-8 record but his legacy will include the planning and opening of an $8 million hockey arena on campus.

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Eaves, a two-time All-American at UW who's the program's all-time leading scorer with 267 points, joins other Badgers connections in the Blue Jackets' system.

The NHL team's senior vice president of hockey operations, Bill Zito, was a graduate assistant coach while in law school at UW.

Blake Geoffrion, who played for Eaves with the Badgers from 2006 to 2010 and is the program's only Hobey Baker Award winner, is the Monsters' assistant general manager.

Eaves was an AHL coach from 1990 to 1993 with the Hershey Bears. He also was an assistant with NHL teams in Calgary, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Eaves isn't the only member of his family moving to Ohio: His son, Ben, in March was named the assistant hockey director of the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets youth program and coach of the under-18 team.

Bucky!

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