PITTSBURGH, PA — AJ Sturges, D-1 head coach for the ACHA West Virginia Mountaineers, announced today he will be stepping down from his position effective immediately. Sturges took over the team midway through the 2015-16 season, leading the Mountaineers to the CHMA playoffs. Sturges compiled a 25-32-4 over the past two seasons, with two CHMA playoff appearances coming in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
This past season, West Virginia finished with a record of 11-14-3 overall and 4-7-2 in conference play, while playing one less conference game due ice issues at Morgantown Municipal Ice Arena forced the cancellation of their January 27 game versus Robert Morris, as well as several other games throughout the season.
Sturges is currently a Ph.D student at West Virginia in addition to leading the hockey team. In a written statement, he addressed the reasons for his departure.
“This will be my last semester enrolled at WVU, and upon completion off my degree program I will be pursuing professional opportunities away from Morgantown. Although I have long known this transition was approaching, I am still left surprised at how quickly my time here has come to an end.”
While he will remain with the team in an administrative capacity until his graduation, team president and general manager Todd Gookin will have to work with the club’s board of directors to find a suitable replacement.