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by Ken Schott

Parting Schotts

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Appert staying at RPI, gets contract extension (updates with Knowlton quotes)

Seth Appert is staying as head coach of RPI hockey.

Appert, who was interviewed for the vacant University of Denver job, signed a three-year contract extension Saturday, the school announced. The deal takes him through the 2020-21 season.

Appert, who signed a contract extension following the 2010-11 season, just completed his seventh season as RPI's coach. He guided the team to a second-place finish in ECAC Hockey, its best finish since he became coach. Appert has a career record of 99-136-31.

"The decision to stay wasn't that hard," Appert said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for what our university stands for, and what our values are, and in the leadership of [RPI president] Dr. [Shirley] Jackson and [athletic director] Jim Knowlton and where our program came from in the last seven years — how far we've come, how close we are.

"I still think there are things for me to finish, and I'm excited about the challenge."

Appert declined to discuss what was discussed in his interview at Denver. The school fired George Gwozdecky on April 1 after 19 years as head coach. Appert was an assistant coach under Gwozdecky for nine years before taking over at RPI.

"There's not many, if any, jobs that I would even consider talking to anybody about. I think that highly of RPI," Appert said. "I'm also that loyal to them because of the belief and the trust they've shown in me, not only during our last four years when as we've gotten a lot better, but in those first few years when we weren't very good. That means a lot to me.

"Denver, because of my history there, my relationship with the alumni, coach Gwozdecky, [associate head coach] Steve Miller, that takes it [interviewing there] into consideration. But at the end of the day, my heart's at RPI."

Knowlton is happy that Appert is staying.

"It's fantastic," Knowlton said. "I have a great relationship with Seth. We've talked about this ever since coach Gwozdecky's contract was not renewed. It was a great opportunity. It was the right thing for him to investigate it. I know he absolutely loves it here at RPI. We've been very, very pleased with what he does with our student-athletes on the ice and off the ice, and with the community.

"At the end of the day, we're excited he decided to stay."

The Denver Post reported that former Maine star forward Jim Montgomery will be named the new Denver coach on Monday. Montgomery, who is the coach and general manager of the U.S. Hockey League’s Dubuque Fighting Saints, was an assistant coach under Appert from 2006-10.

RPI will host Denver at Houston Field House Dec. 13-14.

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