St. Thomas has picked a new men's hockey coach with the program making the transition to Division I this fall: former Miami (Ohio) coach Rico Blasi.
A source told the Star Tribune that Blasi, 49, is expected to be announced as the Tommies coach on Friday.
Blasi takes over for Jeff "Duke'' Boeser, who announced in October that he would retire after the season, the Tommies' final one in the MIAC and as a Division III program.
Blasi went 398-311-76 in 20 seasons at Miami. The RedHawks made 10 NCAA tournament appearances with Blasi as coach, reaching the national championship game in 2009, where they fell 4-3 in overtime against Boston University after leading 3-1 in the final minute of the third period.
A year later, Miami advanced to the Frozen Four semifinals, losing to eventual champion Boston College. He was named the Spencer Penrose Award winner as national coach of the year in 2006, when Miami finished second in the CCHA and advanced to the NCAA Northeast Regional final.
St. Thomas will begin play next season in the new CCHA, becoming the conference's eighth member and joining seven programs leaving the WCHA — Bemidji State, Minnesota State Mankato, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan.
Blasi's teams won three regular-season titles and one tournament title in the old CCHA from 2000 to '13. The RedHawks moved to the NCHC beginning in the 2013-14 season, and Miami was conference tournament runner-up that season and regular-season runner-up in 2014-15.
Blasi was fired following the 2018-19 season after the RedHawks had consecutive finishes of seventh, eighth and seventh in the eight-team NCHC. Last October, he was named associate athletic director for men's and women's hockey at Providence.
A Weston, Ontario, native, Blasi played at Miami from 1990 to '94 and was an assistant there for five years under George Gwozdecky.