Eaves starts new chapter at St. Olaf College - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Eaves starts new chapter at St. Olaf College

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NORTHFIELD, Minn. (WKOW) -

 A week ago, St. Olaf College hosted UW-Eau Claire in men's hockey. Sitting in his office in Northfield, Minnesota prior to the game, Mike Eaves contemplated how his career had come full circle. Eaves' college coaching career began in 1986 at UW-Eau Claire.

"30 year ago to this January, I was in this rink with Eau Claire. I shared that with the team.Now, we're back. It's funny how we've come full circle."

Some two months after his Wisconsin coaching career ended, Eaves began a new chapter at St. Olaf. It is a Division III school with an enrollment of just 3,046 students. 

"The thing that you miss is man-power and finances. We do a little bit of everything here. You can talk to any Division III coach. I stayed in touch with Nate LaPoint, our equipment manager, more than even when I was there just because, 'How do you wash jerseys? Do you hang them up right away? Where do you get nametags?.' Stuff like that. You wear a lot more hats here."

After 14 seasons at Wisconsin, Eaves is going back to his roots in more ways than one. In fact, he and his wife have even moved into their cabin that they've owned in the area for 20 years.

"We're living in our cabin now. We downsized. My bride and I are in our 60's. So, it's kind of been re-energizing. We're scaling down and we're learning new things all over in our 60's. It's like the third period of our life, but it's been a real fun adventure so far."

Eaves has even been able to work with his son, Ben.

"One of the draws of coming back here was we had a chance to work with our older son Ben. Ben is here as the strength and conditioning coach in the whole athletic department, but he's our volunteer assistant. So, we get to work together every day which has gone really well."

Eaves has led the Oles to a 5-12-2 record in his first season with the school.

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