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Published: Wednesday, 7/1/2009

Paluch resigns as Bowling Green coach

BLADE STAFF
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BOWLING GREEN - Bowling Green State University hockey coach Scott Paluch resigned Tuesday and has accepted a position with USA Hockey.

BGSU assistant coach Dennis Williams will serve as interim coach for the 2009-10 season.

Paluch, who compiled an 84-156-23 record in seven seasons with the Falcons, will be a regional manager for USA Hockey's new American Development Model. The program, with support from the National Hockey League, will provide local associations across the country a blueprint for optimal athlete development.

"I am very excited to be joining USA Hockey and getting in on the ground floor of this new initiative," Paluch said in a statement. "This was a tough decision, but an opportunity I could not pass up. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to be the head coach at Bowling Green State University."

A former All-American, Paluch ranks as BG's top scoring defenseman in school history with 169 points in 165 games from 1984-88.

However, Paluch could never find the same level of success as a coach.

The Falcons were 11-24-3 last season and never finished above .500 in his tenure.

His best season came in 2004-05 when the Falcons were 16-16-4 and were fifth in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

"Scott has given everything he has to BGSU hockey, and we wish him the best," BGSU athletic director Greg Christopher said. "He'll bring a wealth of experience to USA Hockey, and I know that he'll be following the Falcons. Scott has been a first-class representative of BGSU athletics, and our hockey team reflects that as well."

Williams, 29, returned to BG last year as an assistant after playing for the Falcons from 1997-2001.

Before that, he served as the head coach at Division III Neumann College in Aston, Pa., for three seasons from 2003-06.

"I want to thank Scott Paluch for giving me the opportunity to return to Bowling Green and the CCHA," Williams said. "I am looking forward to having the opportunity to lead the Falcons for the 2009-10 season. As an alumnus, it's a great honor to be able to coach at your alma mater. I am very excited for the challenge, and I would like to thank Greg Christopher for providing me with this opportunity."

BG will conduct a search for a permanent coach after next season, the final guaranteed year that the hockey program will exist.

Christopher has said the athletic department could eliminate certain sports in 2010 as the university copes with large budget deficits.

"A seamless transition is critical given where our program stands right now," Christopher said. "Having a coach with the track record and experience that Dennis brings to the table helped make this move possible. Dennis has a passion for BGSU hockey, and he's proven that he can recruit and build a program."



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