Associate head coach Jason Herter is leaving the Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey program after helping guide the Bulldogs to two NCHC Frozen Faceoff titles, five NCAA tournament appearances, three Frozen Fours and back-to-back national championships in his nine seasons on the bench.
“As rumored in social media yesterday, I am currently pursuing new opportunities in the game of hockey,” Herter said in a statement released by the university. “I have been part of a great run for Bulldog Hockey and I was proud to play a role in that. I look forward to the next stage of my hockey career. I will always be a Bulldog!”
Herter was promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach in 2018 after the first of back-to-back NCAA titles. The first coach under Scott Sandelin to receive the title of associate head coach, Herter came to UMD in 2011 after the Bulldogs won their first national championship. In his first season, Jack Connolly became the school’s fifth Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner and in what turned out to be his last at UMD — the COVID-19 shortened 2019-20 season — Scott Perunovich won the program’s sixth Hobey Baker.
"We thank Jason for his hard work over the last nine years and wish him and his family the very best,” Sandelin said in a statement released by UMD.
Herter is a native of Hafford, Saskatchewan, but has made Hermantown his home. Like Sandelin, he played at North Dakota before embarking on an 11-year professional hockey career. He spent two seasons coaching the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League — one season as an assistant coach under Dean Blais and a second as head coach and general manager — before joining Sandelin’s staff at UMD.
Whatever Herter does next, it likely will not involve moving his family, which has put down roots in Hermantown.
“I love it here, obviously," the 49-year-old Herter said back in December. "The fact that my kids are here and they love it here and my daughter is getting married this year to a guy from here. We just moved houses and my wife's got a great job. It's like, ‘What’s to be in a hurry?’ It's got to be a good situation and when I'm ready for the challenge.”
This marks the second time in three offseasons that Sandelin must replace a member of a national championship coaching staff after Brett Larson left in 2018 to become head coach at St. Cloud State. Herter originally replaced Larson back in 2011 after the program’s first NCAA championship. Larson originally left the program for a head coaching job in the USHL before taking an associate job at Ohio State and then returning to UMD in 2015.
Herter said back in December he wasn't itching to become a head coach again. It would have to be the right opportunity for that to happen.
“Coach Sandelin has done a great job. He's moved guys on, but guys haven't been in a hurry to move on,” Herter said. “They haven't been trying to get out of here and I don't think I'm any different than that. If a great opportunity comes around, the first guy I'll talk to is Sandy and then I'll talk to my family, if we think it's a good move. That stuff takes care of itself, Sandy taught me that. If you're out just looking for jobs, you're just that guy. And I'm not.”
This story was updated at 2 p.m. April 30 with additional information on Jason Herter from a December 2019 feature on the associate head coach. It was originally posted at 1:36 p.m. April 30.