Head Coach of Men’s Hockey
St. Norbert College head coach Tim Coghlin has assembled one of the best coaching resumes in NCAA Division III hockey history.
Coghlin’s teams have compiled a 507-132-51 record in his 23 seasons in De Pere. During that time, St. Norbert is 263-70-31 mark in the NCHA, the best tenure in league history in terms of winning percentage.
St. Norbert has appeared in 16 NCAA Division III Tournaments since 1997, highlighted by its national championships in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014. The Green Knights have made 10 Frozen Four appearances, and placed as national runner-up in 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2016. Coghlin’s eight national title game appearances as a head coach is the second-most in NCAA Division III history.
The Green Knights fashioned an impressive season in 2014 to claim their fourth national championship, going 18-1-1 in their last 20 games. St. Norbert, which beat UW-Stevens Point 3-1 in the national title game in Lewiston, Maine, became the first team in Division III to lead the country in scoring offense and scoring defense in the same season since the NCAA started tracking hockey statistics in 1996.
St. Norbert’s won its third national championship in 2012, a season that concluded with an impressive 14-1-1 finish. The Green Knights dispatched No. 1-ranked Norwich and No. 3-rated Oswego State both by 4-1 scores at the Frozen Four in Lake Placid, N.Y., to lock up the title and finish 21-5-5.
Coghlin led St. Norbert to the national title in 2011, finishing a 25-4-1 season with a 4-3 win over Adrian in the title game in Minneapolis. The Green Knights won the title despite having its lowest-scoring team since 1995 thanks to a stifling defense that led the country in least goals allowed for the third time in five years.
The Green Knights also captured the NCAA Division III national championship in 2008. Ending the season on an impressive 29-game unbeaten streak, the championship run climaxed in Lake Placid, N.Y. with a 2-0 triumph over Plattsburgh State for the title. The Green Knights’ 27-1-4 season marked the fewest losses ever for a NCAA Division III hockey champion. Coghlin was bestowed following the season with the Edward Jeremiah Award, given annually to the NCAA Division III men's coach of the year. He earned the honor a second time in 2011.
Over the past 18 seasons, St. Norbert has registered an outstanding 431-86-39 ledger which includes 14 NCHA regular-season championships and 12 NCHA Peters Cup Playoff titles. Coghlin’s teams have been especially tough to beat at home since moving into the Cornerstone Community Center in 2000, going a robust 194-23-11 on home ice during the 14 years the Green Knights have occupied the building. St. Norbert also set a school-record 37-game overall unbeaten streak spanning 13 months from the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.
Player development has also been one of Coghlin’s fortes. Four of his players – Rob Smillie in 1999, Maris Ziedins in 2003, Kyle Jones in 2008 and David Jacobson in 2014 – have won the prestigious Sid Watson Award, given to the top player in small-college hockey each year. Ziedins also went on to represent his native Latvia in the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Named St. Norbert’s third varsity head coach on May 26, 1993, Coghlin immediately went to work into laying the foundation for future success.
Following a 10-9-1 rookie campaign, St. Norbert entered its first season in the NCHA. The Green Knights finished sixth in the league in 1994-95 and nearly toppled UW-Stevens Point in the first round of the league
It would be the last and only time St. Norbert has finished out of the top half of the NCHA standings. The Green Knights improved to fourth with a 10-8-2 mark in 1995-96, and broke through to win the league title in 1996-97.
St. Norbert fashioned a 27-6 record in 1997-98 while winning a second consecutive NCHA championship. The Green Knights had five one-goal losses that season and the other game by just two goals. St. Norbert finished the hat trick in 1998-99, again winning the NCHA regular-season and playoff titles.
The Green Knights finished second in the NCHA in 1999-2000 but still managed 22 wins and a 19-game unbeaten streak, and then placed third in 2000-01. St. Norbert answered those seasons with its fourth and fifth NCHA championships the next two years.
In 2001-02 and 2004-05, Coghlin led St. Norbert to a 12-0-2 regular-season record in the NCHA, becoming the first coach in league history to lead a team to an unbeaten season two different times. The 2007-08 season marked the third time the Green Knights have went unbeaten against a demanding NCHA schedule.
St. Norbert ended the 2004-05 season ranked No. 1 for the third consecutive year. The Green Knights also ended the 2003-04 regular season ranked No. 1 and made their first NCAA Division III championship game appearance, losing 1-0 in overtime to Middlebury. During the 2002-03 season, St. Norbert was ranked No. 1 for 10 weeks, including eight straight weeks in late January to mid-March.
Coghlin was named NCHA Coach of the Year in 1998, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010. He also received the Lee Remmel Award for Outstanding Achievement in April 2005.
No stranger to success as a player, he captained UW-Stevens Point’s first NCAA Division III championship team in 1989 and was an assistant coach with the Pointers when they won the national title in 1993 and finished runner-up in 1992.
Coghlin was a two-time All-America selection as a defenseman and three-time All-NCHA selection at Stevens Point, where he was inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame and ranks among the Pointers’ all-time scoring leaders.
Following his collegiate career, Coghlin signed with the Vancouver Canucks and played briefly with the Milwaukee Admirals in 1989. He injured his shoulder in training camp the next season and joined the Fife Flyers of the British Premier League as a player and assistant coach.
A native of Summerland, British Columbia, Coghlin holds a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in communications, both from UW-Stevens Point.
Coghlin, who completed the Wisconsin Ironman Triathlon in 2006, resides in Suamico with his wife, Barb, son, Joseph, and daughter, Faith.