Todd Richards was named head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets and has agreed to a two-year contract to coach the team, the franchise announced Monday.
Richards, who served as the club's interim head coach over the final 41 games of the 2011-12 season, joined the Blue Jackets as an assistant coach on June 20, 2011 and took over as interim coach on Jan. 9.
Richards, 45, led the Blue Jackets to an 18-21-2 record, including a 16-14-1 mark over the final 31 games with wins in seven of its last 11 outings. Columbus also went 14-0-0 when taking a lead into the third period after dropping points in eight of its previous 17 games when leading after two periods.
"As we analyzed available coaching candidates and individuals who might become available, it became very clear to us that he is the right person to lead our team," said General Manager Scott Howson. "Our team continuously improved under Todd and he has earned the opportunity to build upon the work he started."
Prior to joining the Blue Jackets, Richards compiled a 77-71-16 record as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild from 2009-11. He was named the second head coach in Wild history on June 16, 2009 and led the club to a 38-36-8 record in 2009-10 and a 39-35-8 mark in 2010-11. In 2008-09, he served as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks and helped the club capture the Presidents’ Trophy with an NHL-best 53-18-11 record.
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