Joe Shawhan's Contract and Coaching Staff

Michigan Tech announced former assistant Joe Shawhan as the 22nd head coach in Huskies' history last Tuesday. Today, we got our hands on Shawhan's contract and MTU announced his first hire to his staff. We'll take a look at both and throw out a few names for a potential second assistant.

The Contract

The contract is for four years through the 2020-2021 season. Shawhan's salary is set at $210,000 which is a nice pay increase for him, and should put him in the top third of the WCHA. He will also receive a $5,000 signing bonus on July 1, 2017. Beyond that, Shawhan has a few perks specifically called out in the contract:

  • Car allowance of $500 per month.
  • Individual use of the Student Development Complex's facilities.
  • A single membership in the Portage Lake Golf Course in accordance with the MTU Summer Athletic Program Agreement.

The contract also calls for the ability to earn additional compensation by working through the Michigan Tech Hockey Development Center, and for the University to implement incentives for both academic and athletic achievements. If there are any such incentives is unknown at this time. 

There are buyouts for both the University (two times Shawhan's salary if it happens prior to the completion of his third season) and for Shawhan (starts at $175,000 and decreases by $25,000 each year). Unlike Mel Pearson's contract, Shawhan's also includes a clause requiring that he "will not actively seek, negotiate for, or accept other full-time employment of any nature without the prior written permission of the Director of Athletics and the President of Michigan Technological University." This clause is similar to what we discussed in Chris Bergeron's contract at Bowling Green and may have come up because of the way in which Mel Pearson left Michigan Tech. That clause is in effect as long as there are more than 12 months remaining on Shawhan's contract.

The Staff

Today Michigan Tech announced that Joe Shawhan had hired Dallas Steward as an assistant coach. Steward has spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach in the USHL where he's been a part of two championship teams over the last three seasons. In 2014-15, Steward was an assistant with Sioux Falls under Cary Eades. After Eades left Sioux Falls for Fargo, Steward moved to the Chicago Steel as associate head coach and was a part of this year's Clark Cup Championship team under the leadership of Dan Muse.

I believe Dallas is one of the top up and coming coaches in America. First and foremost he’s a very caring individual and he dedicates his life into making players better, both as athletes and as people. Additionally he has a keen eye for scouting talent and is a great recruiter which is so important in college hockey.
— Cary Eades, Fargo Force Head Coach (USHL)

Steward is 37-years old and, despite being from Chippewa Falls, Wis., played high school hockey for Benilde-St. Margaret's in Minnesota. After high school, Steward played three years of junior hockey for the Green Bay Gamblers, and played college hockey for Alaska-Anchorage. In his senior year as an alternate captain, Steward scored 15 goals as a forward finishing second on the team behind Curtis Glencross.

Steward's addition to the MTU hockey website also appears to have confirmed something else that THG believed to be true. Gary Shuchuk's name is no longer listed on the MTU athletic staff page and it appears the he will not be retained, so Shawhan and Michigan Tech still have another coaching spot to fill. The few names that initially came to mind are all forwards, which may or may not play a part in which direction Shawhan will go. Internally, it seems plausible that Tyler Shelast could be promoted from strength and conditioning to full time hockey assistant. Other possibilities include former Wichita Falls (suspended operation) head coach Josh Nelson, who played college hockey at Minnesota State and could be looking to move on to college. as well as Rich Metro, who played under Shawhan at NMU and is currently an assistant at LSSU.

The final name that we'll speculate is the now retired all-star game legend John Scott. With his professional career officially over and the announcement of an experienced assistant like Steward who play was as a forward, this could open the door for an inexperienced coach like John Scott whose college career was as a defenseman. Learning the recruiting ropes under Shawhan and Steward plus adding the MTU connection to the bench makes it plausible. Based on the news last week of Shawhan hitting the road to recruit after the announcement points to him taking a similar approach to Pearson of spending plenty of time doing some of the leg work to pick his team, and only time will tell who will get the last spot on the staff.

Feature image courtesy of Bob Gilreath.