CALUMET - A lot of change is coming, gradually, to the Calumet High School hockey progam.
The Board of Education of the Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium and Keweenaw confirmed the retirement of head coach Jim Crawford, effective at the end of the 2014-15 season.
Crawford has coached the Copper Kings since the 1984-85 season and is currently third in state history with 522 victories.
Calumet coach Jim Crawford, center, watches play in a game at MacInnes Student Ice Arena in this undated file photo. The Board of Education of the Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium and Keweenaw confirmed Crawford's retirement effective at the end of the 2014-15 hockey season, his 31st in charge of the Copper Kings. Calumet has won 522 games in his tenure, making Crawford the state's active leader. (DMG photo by David Archambeau)
He will be, for his 31st and final season on the bench, the state's active leader in wins. Trenton coach Mike Turner retired with 629 after his team won the Division 2 state championship at the end of last season. Second-place Ron Baum of East Kentwood retired in 2007.
Crawford has a career winning percentage of .675 (522-251-21), including a 76-24 mark in the postseason, and will coach his 800th game for CHS early next season.
Calumet won state championships in 1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2003 and 2008 and finished runner-up four other times, including the team's most recent state finals appearance in 2011. Since Calumet's first title, no other public high school has won the state's smallest classification (originally Class B-C-D, now Division 3) more than twice.
On the local level, Calumet has won 15 regional and 12 league championships in Crawford's tenure.
According to the release, "In order to ensure a smooth transition, a successor will be named and in place by the start of the 2014-15 season."
Neither Crawford nor CHS administration could be reached for comment before press time today.