Mike Haviland leaves Hershey Bears to become coach at Colorado College

May 9
(via @TheHersheyBears)
(via @TheHersheyBears)

After one year behind the bench with the Hershey Bears, Mike Haviland has left the Capitals’ AHL affiliate to become the head coach at Colorado College.

“Mike has decided to move onto the collegiate scene to continue his coaching career,” Bears General Manager Doug Yingst said in a news release.

Haviland, 46, was a finalist for Washington’s coaching vacancy in the summer of 2012 but that position ultimately went to Adam Oates. When the Bears were in search of a new coach a year later, the organization opted to bring Haviland into the fold.

But not even 15 years of coaching experience made for a smooth first season in Hershey. Haviland posted a 39-27-5-5 record with the Bears, who like Washington failed to reach the playoffs after an inconsistent season.

Haviland’s departure adds more uncertainty to an already busy offseason for the Capitals’ organization.

Washington is in the midst of a search for a new general manager and coach after dismissing both Oates and General Manager  George McPhee in late April. The team’s affiliation agreement with Hershey expired at the end of the 2013-14 season and has yet to be renewed, and now the Bears will need to find a new coach of their own.

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