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 Blais To Step Down As UNO Hockey Coach

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
admin Posted - 03/14/2017 : 1:06:12 PM
...be careful what you wish for...

UNO needs to be very careful with this hire.

http://www.omaha.com/uno/hockey/dean-blais-steps-down-as-uno-hockey-coach/article_771e7314-08dd-11e7-ae41-8f22eefae827.html
30   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
nousefouraname Posted - 04/05/2017 : 10:21:27 AM
Sounds like doings are afoot. Things could get interesting soon.
Bad Man Jose Posted - 03/20/2017 : 1:57:23 PM
quote:
Originally posted by admin

Since folks on the internet have been suggesting the concept of Mike Kemp returning as head coach, I wrote a blog post on the idea (which does have its merits):

http://mavpuckblog.blogspot.com/2017/03/getting-band-back-together-case-for.html



No...just no

---------------
"On the roster, Im listed as a goalie, so my job is to keep the puck out of the net at whatever cost it may be. -Ryan Massa
Bad Man Jose Posted - 03/20/2017 : 1:56:36 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Quinn

interesting comment from the sioux sports forum:

So I saw Dean after Friday's game with his wife and someone said congrats on his retirement. He made a comment back along the lines of if you say so or he wouldn't say so. Was he forced out?

That's the thought, especially in Omaha.

herold/klosterman/blais -- sad day when UNO gets rid of excellent coaches and brings in cheap labor...

Quinn





Say what you want about the competition level, but Blais's actual results at UNO, especially after Jan. 1, never lived up to the reputation he rode for 8 years.

---------------
"On the roster, Im listed as a goalie, so my job is to keep the puck out of the net at whatever cost it may be. -Ryan Massa
nousefouraname Posted - 03/20/2017 : 12:36:16 PM
Bad idea, I'd say. The thought in 2009 was that UNO needed an upgrade in the coaching position. So, I'm not intrigued by the idea of going back to the well to a coach that is now older and has been out of the game for 8 seasons.

It sends a bad message to me. This guy wasn't good enough back then, but he's good enough now. Why? because he doesn't cost much? He hasn't done anything int he profession since then to make one think he'd be a better coach and recruiter now than he was back then. Even if this were a short term gig, it would have the potential to set the program back years. Other schools can use it against you in recruiting. "Who are you actually committing to play for?" would probably be the line most often used.


You don't hire a guy just to groom someone else. You don't hire a guy because he's cheap. You hire the right guy at that time. Period.

Besides, who would manage the arena?
admin Posted - 03/20/2017 : 10:05:34 AM
Since folks on the internet have been suggesting the concept of Mike Kemp returning as head coach, I wrote a blog post on the idea (which does have its merits):

http://mavpuckblog.blogspot.com/2017/03/getting-band-back-together-case-for.html
Quinn Posted - 03/20/2017 : 09:31:02 AM
interesting comment from the sioux sports forum:

So I saw Dean after Friday's game with his wife and someone said congrats on his retirement. He made a comment back along the lines of if you say so or he wouldn't say so. Was he forced out?

That's the thought, especially in Omaha.

herold/klosterman/blais -- sad day when UNO gets rid of excellent coaches and brings in cheap labor...

Quinn

nousefouraname Posted - 03/18/2017 : 7:41:07 PM
In the meantime, Trev's other rookie head coach with has the baseball team at 2-16 with a pair of ugly losses at home this weekend. Yesterday was a 5-2 loss (with 7 errors) and today was a 15-0 drubbing.

Again, I wonder what would happen to the program if a season like this were to occur in hockey? Less likely given the facilities. Still, the comparison was made earlier and we've seen what Colorado College has gone through in recent years. Anything is possible.
admin Posted - 03/18/2017 : 09:50:58 AM
In case anyone was wondering, Guentzel makes ~$150,000 as an assistant at Minnesota...

http://www.gopherpucklive.com/gophers-conference-title-could-start-bonus-season/
Greg S Posted - 03/17/2017 : 1:42:57 PM
Agreed, it is fun to specualte.

And despite everything I am throwing out here and elsewhere, I am with you, I still believe it will be Gabinet.

Greg
admin Posted - 03/17/2017 : 10:28:47 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Greg S

As I have said all along (back to last year) all signs point to Gabinet.

The interesting thing with Guentzel, is that everyone says he's biding his time to take over for Lucia at Minnesota. The thing is, there is not much of an age difference, only 4 years. I'm not convinced he is locked in to wait for that to happen, considering that would not give him too much time as a head coach.

Greg



Very true, Greg.

If Lucia leaves in the near future -- firing/resignation/retirement -- you might see the Gophers look for a young candidate to replace him.

Grant Potulny might be who the U would turn to...

(And as I said above, Hastings might be an attractive candidate for the Gopher job as well)

Like you, I believe Mike Guentzel would be a terrific head coach. He and his wife Sally lived here during Guentzel's stint with the Lancers (Jake was born here). He'd fit in well.

One interesting thing to consider...

Tony Granato -- recently hired coach at Wisconsin -- makes $500,000 a year with the Badgers (increasing by $25,000 the next four seasons). His predecessor -- Mike Eaves -- was making $250,000/year.

I still think half-million-dollar (or even a base well north of $300,000) salaries are not where UNO wants to go. But I could be wrong.

Wanna know my dark horse choice? Rick Zombo

Rick is Dominic Zombo's dad, former NHL player. He is currently head coach at Lindenwood University in the St. Louis area. And...he applied for the Wisconsin job in 2016 (according to the Wisconsin State Journal).

Obviously, I think Gabinet is the guy, but it's fun to speculate.
g6edxrgp Posted - 03/17/2017 : 09:48:22 AM
I would be ok with a "youth movement" hire at head coach and hire Mike Gabinet only if the powers to be at the University of Nebraska at Omaha use the money saved for said "youth movement" and provide "Full Cost of Attendance Scholarships" to the players. At least we could be on equal playing ground with the rest of the NCHC with recruiting as our coach learns the ropes. With the money crunch at UN Omaha this could be the best of both worlds scenario.
Greg S Posted - 03/17/2017 : 09:35:19 AM
As I have said all along (back to last year) all signs point to Gabinet.

The interesting thing with Guentzel, is that everyone says he's biding his time to take over for Lucia at Minnesota. The thing is, there is not much of an age difference, only 4 years. I'm not convinced he is locked in to wait for that to happen, considering that would not give him too much time as a head coach.

Greg
nousefouraname Posted - 03/17/2017 : 06:51:06 AM
Of all the factors listed, it still sounds like $$$$$ will the be the biggest. Buyouts. salary demands. full cost of attendance concerns. Certainly, there are other factors, but the dollar will make the decision in the end.
admin Posted - 03/17/2017 : 12:05:23 AM
Okay...

Having analyzed this... having had casual conversations with UNO supporters and other interested parties...

Gabinet makes the most sense.

Go back to 2009. UNO was hours away from hiring Steve Rohlik (then an assistant for UMD) to be its next head coach. Rohlik had been a captain on the Wisconsin team Mike Kemp was an assistant with in the 80s and 90s. Rohlik then became an assistant for Kemp when he started the UNO program in 1997 -- and was incredibly popular during that era with recruits and boosters.

Kemp -- now an associate AD -- was involved with that hire in 2009. The newly hired AD (Trev Alberts) wouldn't give up on Dean Blais, didn't take no for an answer, and the rest is history.

(Rohlik is currently the head coach at Ohio State, and is unlikely to return to UNO after losing the job in '09).

This time there are different circumstances surrounding the hire.

Alberts has eight years of experience and understands the unique culture that is the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He's likely less concerned about making a "splash," and more concerned about a pick that will mesh well within the UNO culture, and be willing to fully commit to the Omaha community.

Because Gabinet signed a 2-year contract with UNO (a first for an assistant), UNO would have to pay out $120,000 should he be released. That amount -- in addition to whatever money they owe Blais, and the need to hire new assistants -- isn't ideal for a cash strapped university.

I realize that Trev told "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" that money wouldn't be an issue in hiring a new head coach. I'm not suggesting that's a catalyst.

I get the sense Gabinet was brought in a year ago to be Blais's eventual replacement. I think Kemp wanted to grab Gabinet (who just completed a 36-0 undefeated season with Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in the ACAC in Canada). Because he didn't have a thick resume, he was more affordable, and offered upside because he was a former UNO player, and his grandfather is the legendary Canadian hockey coach Clare Drake.

A younger, less experienced coach would have more to prove. As a former player, he'd have a lot to lose if he failed at UNO.

I'm not sure Kemp wants to let Gabinet get away.

Gabs is smart and intelligent. He was responsible for UNO's vastly improved power play unit this year. Having interacted with him as a player, I can say he is a terrific individual.

People often mention Mike Guentzel and Mike Hastings as possible candidates (because the only candidates this year seem to have the name "Mike").

Guentzel was twice a finalist for the UNO job in 1996 and 2009 -- he eventually became an assistant for UNO under Blais. Hastings was a finalist in 2009, and an associate head coach under Blais for three seasons. I don't know that either wants to leave his current station for the UNO job -- especially if UNO isn't going to offer "Full Cost of Attendance Scholarships" in the near future.

Guentzel might prefer to bide his time for the Minnesota job. Hastings is in the midst of an 8-year contract at MSU-Mankato. Both could potentially be candidates for that Minnesota job when Don Lucia is done.

Both Guentzel and Hastings would likely have fairly high monetary demands. Gabinet's demands would likely be more moderate.

Gabinet is also 35, and in the early stages of his career. That can be advantageous for an administration that, at times, seemed somewhat fatigued with an older, veteran coach.

The question is how much longevity would two former assistants in their 50s have, and would there be a danger of losing either if the Minnesota job opens (which is a perennial possibility).

Considering all the factors at work, it seems highly probable UNO will choose to go with the "youth movement."

I could be wrong, but considering that Kemp and Alberts are both involved with this decision -- and considering UNO's chancellor is set to retire in a few months -- I believe this will be a fairly fast announcement, and that they'll go with a familiar quantity.
montrealmav Posted - 03/16/2017 : 11:39:08 AM
FYI for MIke Hastings fans, and I count myself as one. Hastings has a good gig in Mankato and is also the highest paid head hockey coach in the WCHA. Yes the program needed a big splash when Dean was hired but Hastings should have been the choice.

revenge is a meal best served cold
Bad Man Jose Posted - 03/15/2017 : 3:10:03 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Hat-Trick

The next chapter in the 20 year story that is UNO hockey looks ominous and doesn't smell good.



Well, in 20 years, we will still be a new program so we will have that to blame

---------------
"On the roster, Im listed as a goalie, so my job is to keep the puck out of the net at whatever cost it may be. -Ryan Massa
Quinn Posted - 03/15/2017 : 12:50:46 PM
for those that read uscho: there is a thread discussing this..

Quinn

nousefouraname Posted - 03/15/2017 : 10:36:35 AM
My expectations are finishing upper half of the NCHC most years. Either a regular season or postseason NCHC title once per decade. NCAA Tournament appearance 2-3 times per 10 years. Record over .500 almost every year.

That is my general expectation. I don't think that is too lofty given the fan support and facilities.
admin Posted - 03/15/2017 : 10:20:57 AM
In my mind, the key question for everyone to consider is this:

What Are The Expectations For UNO Hockey Going Forward?

When you figure that out, you'll figure out who the next head coach should be....
nousefouraname Posted - 03/15/2017 : 10:01:24 AM
Gary Sharp said on 1620 this morning that coaches are allowed to go on the road to recruit.
Hat-Trick Posted - 03/15/2017 : 08:47:20 AM
One thing Blais said that rang true - he did raise expectations within the fan base.

For those of us hoping for a hire other than Gabby, I think what Quinn is trying to say, in case you're still not following, is this:

Wish in one hand, defecate in the other. See which one gets full first.

The next chapter in the 20 year story that is UNO hockey looks ominous and doesn't smell good.



NebFan1 Posted - 03/15/2017 : 08:10:08 AM
The state will eventually tax something new and the budget crisis will go away. We see that happen all the time. It won't last forever. A lot of noise will be made until someone opens the purse strings in a year or two.

The coaching situation has the potential to impact the hockey team for the next decade. Whoever is hired will get a 3-4 year contract. They will recruit players who will shape this team the next 7-10 years. This is a really important decision that will signal the direction of UNO sports and what the mindset is for years to come.

I can't possibly know what the mindset is going in. I just know that hockey in Omaha needs a shot in the arm. After the departure of Hastings at the Lancers, and the demise of Bliss Littler, the organization decided to hire a no-name coach in Brian Kaufman, whose previous experience had been that of a graduate assistant at Miami (OH).

It really hasn't worked so far, and the Lancers have fallen to new levels irrelevance not seen in the franchise's history.

The reason I mentioned Hastings earlier is because he has won every place he's been. He might not be perfect, but he has made MSU-Mankato relevant again, something that didn't seem possible after the conference fell apart in 2013. Not only that, he is well respected among the hockey community in Omaha. He would make sense.

There are other good candidates out there. I hope for the sake of the stability of the sport in the city and state that they go out and interview a number of candidates and find the vision best suited to the future of the team.
nousefouraname Posted - 03/14/2017 : 9:55:22 PM
Quinn: On the other hand, nothing would shock me considering how dire the situation is. I majored in broadcasting at UNO. Almost all of the employees at UNO TV have lost their jobs. They cut over 100 years of experience in about half a dozen employees in that area, all of them really good people. Students will no longer have the opportunity to work in a working tv station on campus. That's just one small sliver of what's happening on campus. I'm sure every area has similar stories.

So, nothing really would shock me at this point.
swayze Posted - 03/14/2017 : 9:49:13 PM
I'm sure they can recruit.

I'm more interested in knowing whether there will be any decommits, and whether that results in 21-year-old freshmen again.
nousefouraname Posted - 03/14/2017 : 9:43:31 PM
Can it possibly be true that a university travel ban could actually extend to athletic coaches? Honestly, I would have a hard time even fathoming that. Are you sure about this? I get that things are dire, but typically something like that would not extend to coaches where travel for recruiting is essential.

I've worked for companies that have had to institute travel bans due to budgetary reasons, but that has never extended to our sales force, just the home office employees. No matter how bad things get, a company knows there are some positions that simply have to travel or the organization is dead in the water. Are we sure that's not the case here?

If there is any truth in a travel ban that extends to athletic coaches, we may as well start calling our athletic director Baghdad Trev when he suggests that there is money available for a top flight coaching hire.
Quinn Posted - 03/14/2017 : 8:25:45 PM
I work at UNMC so I'm privy to all the internal memos about the budget and the like. they are projecting 350 jobs being eliminated at UNMC alone so I'm not playing when I say the university is broke as a joke...

if I were to hire the next head coach here is a dark horse candidate -- dave noel bernier.

smart money is on gabinet

for those who are wondering about recruiting -- there won't be any -- ban on travel. my boss can't even go anywhere...

let me break it down again for those that are mentally challenged:

no money no money no money..
Trev is lying through his teeth...

Quinn

jlynch Posted - 03/14/2017 : 8:10:56 PM
Quinn, where do you work in the NU system?
swayze Posted - 03/14/2017 : 8:06:02 PM
If you don't hire a coach who has spent years making inroads in the youth/high school/junior ranks, you are in for a world of hurt in the NCHC. This program can't regress and start recruiting players like Dan Swanson, Rich Purslow, J.J. Koehler and Jeremie Dupont again.

This program went thru a 3 season period before Blais was hired that had ZERO NHL talent on it, and short/undersized players that weren't able to matchup with Michigan and Michigan State in the CCHA. That isn't a world we want to go back to as a program.
Ralph Monroe Posted - 03/14/2017 : 6:59:46 PM
2 names we can get for thew cheeeep.
That Walt Kyle guy is looking around for something.

Also, some past Maverick assitants are doing well abroad. Abored.

Steve Rohlik is doing good at OSU. $$$
David Quinn is 82-52 over 4 seasons at BU. $$$$

Doc Delcastillo was 3-41-6 at Hamline in St. Paul. $

There is your guy on the cheeeeep.

Quinn Posted - 03/14/2017 : 5:11:08 PM
Pretty funny to listen to trev #alternativefacts!

Trev can pretend all he wants and have a dog and pony show, but he will give gabinet the job because he will be the cheapest available.

as an aside: the university is so broke that we will no longer have trash emptied. we have to empty it ourselves -- true story....

the university is going to do this as cheap as possible -- those of you that think otherwise are sniffing glue.

Quinn


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