After USHL coach Mark Carlson visited Amherst earlier in the week UMass has been waiting to see if the trip east went well enough to lure him from the job he’s been in for the past 12 seasons. Late Friday it was reported that the prospect of the UMass hockey coaching job wasn’t enough for him to leave his current position in Cedar Rapids. In my opinion the idea of Carlson as coach was much better than guys like Rand Pecknold or Paul Pearl who hadn’t consistently been able to make the NCAA tournament in their current positions in lesser leagues. Carlson would’ve brought a ton of experience and reputation as one of the best coaches in amateur hockey. In the end, UMass AD John McCutcheon could not convince him that the job in Amherst was better than the one he has currently in Iowa.
It’s unknown where UMass will turn from here. Many think they’ll look to UNH Associate Coach Scott Borek who interviewed earlier in the week. Borek has been in Durham for the past decade and has head coaching experience at Lake Superior State, though was let go after he went 76-94-15 in 5 seasons. Personally I think at this point UMass’ best bet would probably be to hire former assistant coach Red Gendron who is familiar with the program and players, understands the unique challenges in Amherst, and as far as I know is genuinely interested enough in the job that he’d take it if offered.
At this point however who knows what direction McCutcheon will go in. I can tell you that given all that has gone on with the hockey program this summer I have exactly zero confidence in him to do what’s best for UMass hockey in the end though. We’ll see if he can prove me, and a good portion of other UMass hockey fans, wrong in that regard.
A few Jon Quick related links to share:
First, NESN says he’s tops among Americans currently playing in the NHL.
New England Hockey Journal has this in-depth feature that outlines his recruitment to and development at UMass. Ironically it also talks about how much Quick’s success has benefitted the UMass hockey program. Unfortunately this coaching search, which has been completely botched from the start, has diminished what should be a time for UMass fans to celebrate.
Quick won the ESPY award for NHL Player of the Year.