Babcock spent two seasons with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim where in his first season as an NHL head coach, Babcock led the Ducks to their first ever Stanley Cup Finals appearance. The Ducks became the second post 90s expansion team to reach the Finals (Florida in 1996; also Tampa Bay since) and the fourth team since 1926 from the Pacific Time Zone to play for the Stanley Cup. In addition, Babcock became the first rookie coach to reach the Finals since Florida's Doug MacLean in 1996 and the first ex-McGill University player to coach in the Finals since the legendary Lester Patrick did so in 1937. With a four-game sweep over Detroit in the first round, the Ducks became the first team since the 1952 Red Wings (over Toronto) to sweep a defending Stanley Cup champion.
In his last foray into international competition, Babcock helped lead Team Canada to a victory at the 2004 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. Selected as an assistant coach by Jim Nill, the Red Wings' assistant general manager, Babcock stepped up to serve as head coach after Joel Quennville fell ill and returned home. Under Babcock's direction, the team posted a 7-1-1 record in the tournament, capturing the gold medal after defeating Sweden, 5-3, in the finals. He became the first Canadian coach to serve as bench boss for both the World Junior Championships (1997) and Senior World Championships (2004).
Prior to the Mighty Ducks' 2003 playoff run, Babcock led the team to the best regular season in the club's history with 40 wins and 95 points (40-27-9-6). Anaheim was the most improved team in the NHL, finishing 26 points higher than they did in 2001-02 (69 pointes increased to 95). Babcock became one of only eight coaches in league history to lead a team to an improvement of 26 points-or-more in his first season as an NHL head coach. Babcock's team-first approach also led to club records for best goals-against average (2.32) and fewest goals allowed (193).
Before Anaheim, Babcock spent two seasons as head coach of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (2000-02), the primary development affiliate for Detroit and Anaheim in the American Hockey League. While in Cincinnati, he led the club to a combined 74-59-20-7 record, including a franchise-best 41 wins and 95 points in 2000-01. The Ducks qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs each season.
Babcock enjoyed a successful six-year run as the head coach of the Western Hockey League's Spokane Chiefs (1994-95 through 1999-00). With Spokane, he compiled a regular-season record of 224-175-29. He was named WHL Coach of the Year after the Chiefs claimed league titles in 1996 and 2000. Additionally, he was the head coach of the 2000 WHL West Division All-Star Team. In 1997, he earned the honor of coaching the Canadian World Junior Team, leading them to a gold medal.
In Canadian University play, Babcock won a national championship and was named the Coach of the Year in one season with the Lethbridge Pronghorns in 1993-94. He began his WHL career as head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors from 1991-93.
In 1988, Babcock was named head coach at Red Deer College in Red Deer College in Red Deer, Alberta. He spent three seasons at the school, winning the Alberta College Championship and Coach of the Year Award in 1989.
A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Babcock played in the WHL for Saskatoon (1980-81) and Kelowna (1982-83), where he was team captain. In between, he spent a year at the University of Saskatoon. Babcock also played four years at McGill University (1983-87), twice being named an All-Star defenseman and team captain. He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education and attended graduate school in sports psychology at McGill.
Mike and his wife, Maureen, have three children: Allie, Michael and Taylor.