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Notre Dame Hockey HC Jackson To Step Down, Replaced By Sheahan In 2025

• Notre Dame Hockey Head Coach Jeff Jackson will coach his final season in 2024/2025

• Reigns will be handed to associate head coach Brock Sheahan starting spring of 2025

Photo by: Notre Dame Athletics


Longtime Notre Dame Hockey HC Jeff Jackson will coach his final season in 2024/2025 before stepping down, with Brock Sheahan replacing Jackson in 2025. Jeff Jackson has been the head coach of Notre Dame Hockey for the past 19 seasons, he will coach his 20th and final season for the Irish in 2024 before stepping down and handing the reigns to associate head coach Brock Sheahan after the 2024/2025 season.


Jackson is responsible for 8 conference titles, 4 frozen four trips, and 2 national championship appearances. Notre Dame made the NCAA tournament 12 times under Jackson, finishing with over 400+ wins. Brock Sheahan was a part of coach Jackson’s original Notre Dame team as a defenseman and helped lead Notre Dame to a frozen four and national title appearance during the 2007/2008 season. Sheahan later joined the coaching staff as Associate Head Coach ahead of the 2023/2024 season before previously being the head coach of the Chicago Steel in the USHL, posting a 100-27-12-3 record, he also served as HC of the Chicago Wolves in the AHL. Sheahan was additionally a volunteer assistant coach for Notre Dame for the 2013/2014 season.


Here is the full press release from The University of Notre Dame/Notre Dame Athletics:


"SOUTH BEND, IN – A pioneer in the world of amateur hockey and a mainstay behind the Irish bench for nearly two decades, the University of Notre Dame’s Catalino Family Head Hockey Coach Jeff Jackson has announced his plans to step down at the conclusion of the 2024-25 season. During his tenure leading the Irish, Jackson made the Irish a perennial powerhouse and will enter next season as the winningest active coach in Division I men’s ice hockey.


“I have decided that this coming season, my 20th at Notre Dame, will be my last,” Jackson stated Monday. “I plan to celebrate my final year at Notre Dame by doing what I love. I get to fully embrace coaching this great game at this incredible university, surrounded by a fantastic staff and good friends, for one more season. Most importantly, I feel privileged to work with some incredible student-athletes pursuing their dreams.” 

“I’ve been honored to be able to work with and get to know Jeff (Jackson) during my first year at Notre Dame,” said University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Pete Bevacqua. “His knowledge of the game and love of Notre Dame have taken our hockey program to unprecedented heights over the past two decades. I look forward to supporting Jeff and the entire hockey program as they work to bring great success to South Bend next season.”


Current Notre Dame Associate Head Coach and former Golden Domer, Brock Sheahan ‘08 will succeed Jackson as the next head coach of the Irish upon completion of the 2024-25 season, becoming the fifth coach in program history.


The 2024-25 season will mark year 20 behind the Irish bench for Jackson, who elevated Notre Dame hockey to the national stage including four trips to the Frozen Four, two national championship game appearances and eight conference titles. During his time as the head coach of the Irish, his teams have made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances while competing in three different conferences and earning over 400 wins. Since taking over the program in 2005-06, nine individuals have been named All-American while 28 alumni have made their NHL debuts.


A two-time Spencer Penrose Award winner during his career at Notre Dame, presented annually to the top Division I men’s ice hockey coach, Jackson was also named CCHA Coach of the Year twice with the Irish to add to his 1990-91 honor while the head coach at Lake Superior State.


Prior to Jackson’s arrival on campus in 2005, the Irish had managed just one NCAA Tournament appearance in program history (2004). Since then, the Irish have become synonymous with success on the ice and have made two national championship game appearances, four trips to the Frozen Four, and landed 12 NCAA Tournament berths. At Notre Dame Jackson has coached nine All-Americans, four Academic All-Americans, three Hobey Baker Finalists, two Mike Richter Finalists, two Senior CLASS award winners and five finalists, two Hockey Humanitarian Finalists and the Hockey Commissioners’ Association Rookie of the Year in 2010-11. On the conference level, he has seen two Player of the Year Award recipients, four Goaltenders of the Year and numerous all-conference selections.


In 19 seasons behind an Irish bench, Jackson has amassed a record of 407-264-73 and is the only head coach in program history to surpass 400 wins with the team. His tenure includes 12 trips to the NCAA postseason, five conference tournament championships and various national and conference awards. Most recently he reached his milestone 400th win with the Irish, coming in a 6-1 win over storied rival Michigan on home ice. Throughout his tenure, Jackson has brought the Irish to new heights including a record 12 NCAA Tournaments and its first-ever Frozen Four in just his third season behind the bench. Raising the CCHA Tournament Championship trophy in year two with the Irish, he has gone on to lead the Irish to eight conference championships and was twice named the Spencer Penrose Award winner, presented annually to the National Coach of the Year (2006-07 and 2017-18). 

With an all-time Division I record of 589-316-98 at the end of last season, Jackson ranked as the winningest coach among all active coaches at the DI men’s ice hockey level. This past season he eclipsed 1,000 Division I games coached as the Irish rolled to a convincing 6-1 victory over Minnesota to mark the occasion.


Jackson began his coaching career in St. Clair, Michigan, where he served as head coach of the St. Clair Falcons of the North American Hockey League, a junior league focused on developing players for the collegiate and professional levels. He spent two years in St. Clair before moving to the state’s Upper Peninsula as an assistant coach at Lake Superior State University under then-head coach Frank Anzalone. Jackson spent four seasons as an assistant coach for the Lakers before being elevated to head coach for the 1990-91 season.


In six seasons behind the bench in Sault Ste. Marie, Jackson’s teams won two NCAA titles in 1992 and 1994 while advancing to the finals in 1993, two CCHA regular season championships and four CCHA Mason Cup trophies as conference tournament champions. 

After 10 years with the Lakers between assistant and head coach roles, and three national titles in that span, Jackson left college hockey to start a youth development program for USA Hockey. In 1996 Jackson was named the national coach and senior director of the junior national team and went on to found the U.S. National Team Development Program. In his first year putting the program in place, he served as the head coach for the United States Junior National Team that captured a silver medal at the 1997 World Junior Championships. The following year he served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Jackson served as the director and coach of the NTDP for four seasons before entering the professional hockey realm.


In 2000 he left the U.S. program and took over as head coach of the Guelph Storm in the Ontario Hockey League where he quickly turned the program around with a pair of winning records. In just over two full seasons with the Storm, Jackson posted an 87-67-24-4 record before accepting the role of assistant coach of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League prior to returning to the collegiate ranks as the head coach at Notre Dame in 2005.


Sheahan was a member of Jackson’s original Irish team and helped lead the team to its first ever berth in the Frozen Four championship game as a senior defenseman in 2007-08. As a student-athlete at Notre Dame, Sheahan graduated with a degree in finance and served as alternate captain during his final season with the Blue and Gold. 


“I could not be more excited to have Brock step in as our Catalino Family Head Hockey Coach,” Bevacqua said. “Brock has shown at every stop in his hockey journey, including his time here as a student-athlete, to be an innovative tactician who is always one step ahead of the curve. This next year will be a great opportunity for him to continue learning from Jeff (Jackson), while preparing to take the helm full time in 2025.”


Sheahan returned to the Irish as Associate Head Coach prior to the 2023-24 season and was instrumental in the development of the young roster. His emphasis on player development in his first season in a full-time coaching capacity at Notre Dame led five graduates to sign professional deals, including a pair of NHL signees in Landon Slaggert (Chicago) and Drew Bavaro (Boston).


“The opportunity to lead the Notre Dame Hockey program is a dream come true for me and my family,” Sheahan said. “I will be forever grateful to Father Bob Dowd, John Veihmeyer, Jack Brennan, Pete Bevacqua, and the University of Notre Dame for this responsibility. 

“I am motivated to lead the program forward, with the intention of winning conference and national championships, while developing our student-athletes to the highest level, as both people and hockey players. The mentorship, influence, and friendship from Jeff Jackson, Paul Pooley, and Andy Slaggert has made me into the person and coach I am today. I am especially thankful for the support of Coach Jackson and all the guidance he has provided me over the years. He has made Notre Dame hockey what it is today and I am excited to work with him this season to achieve our goal of bringing Notre Dame Hockey its first national championship.”


His return to the Irish program a season ago came after a stint as the head coach of the Chicago Wolves (American Hockey League). In one season with the Wolves he led his team to a 35-29-5 regular season record.


Prior to his time with the Wolves, he spent four years with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League, a junior level program developing the next generation of hockey talent. There, he was a key component in the development of 28 NHL Draftees, including four first-round selections and collegiate hockey stars.


During his tenure with the Steel, Sheahan’s teams won two Anderson Cups, awarded to the league’s regular season champions as well as capturing the 2021 Clark Cup championship. After assuming the role of head coach partway through the 2019-20 season, Sheahan posted a 100-27-12-3regular season record in the USHL and added an 8-3 record in the Clark Cup Playoffs.


Sheahan returned to the collegiate ranks last season, having previously served four seasons as an assistant/associate head coach at Holy Cross following a year as a volunteer assistant coach with the Irish in 2013-14.  


A defenseman for the Irish from 2004-08, Sheahan skated three seasons under Jackson. Throughout his collegiate career he appeared in 161 games and tallied 33 points. He served as alternate captain his senior year and was named the team’s top defenseman in 2007-08 after helping his team to their first ever NCAA championship appearance.

 

Sheahan and his wife Ashley have two children, Beau and Evelyn.


“I am excited about the present and the future of Notre Dame Hockey,” Jackson added. “Brock is a true Notre Dame man and a fantastic coach. He will do incredible things here. For now, the focus is on preparing for a great 2024-25 season.”


End of press release - Via Notre Dame Athletics

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