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 Blais To Step Down As UNO Hockey Coach
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2017 :  10:36:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.
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Quinn
Senior Mav

Uzbekistan
1618 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2017 :  12:50:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
for those that read uscho: there is a thread discussing this..

Quinn

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Bad Man Jose
Clubber Lang's Punching Bag

Luxembourg
1487 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2017 :  3:10:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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
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montrealmav
Sophomore Mav

Canada
472 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2017 :  11:39:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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
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admin
U!N!O!

10825 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2017 :  12:05:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2017 :  06:51:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2017 :  09:35:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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
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g6edxrgp
New Recruit

39 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2017 :  09:48:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.
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admin
U!N!O!

10825 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2017 :  10:28:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2017 :  1:42:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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
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admin
U!N!O!

10825 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2017 :  09:50:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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/
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2017 :  7:41:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.
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Quinn
Senior Mav

Uzbekistan
1618 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2017 :  09:31:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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

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admin
U!N!O!

10825 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2017 :  10:05:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2017 :  12:36:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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?
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Bad Man Jose
Clubber Lang's Punching Bag

Luxembourg
1487 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2017 :  1:56:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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
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Bad Man Jose
Clubber Lang's Punching Bag

Luxembourg
1487 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2017 :  1:57:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2017 :  10:21:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds like doings are afoot. Things could get interesting soon.
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