CHN: DU Is Interviewing Coaching Candidates

by Adam Wodon

Denver is conducting interviews this week with the hopes of picking a new coach by next week, CollegeHockeyNews.com has learned.

Denver needs to replace George Gwozdecky, its coach of 19 years, who was fired last week.

Current RPI coach Seth Appert, and Derek Lalonde, head coach of the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers, will be in Denver this week for interviews, according to sources. Both Appert and Lalonde are former Denver assistant coaches. [read entire article].

57 comments:

dggoddard said...

Going into this process, I felt NHL connections were the highest priority. I've changed my mind.

Love Lalond. Have no doubt he will do a great job for DU. Always heard he was a fantastic coach. Of all DU's coaches he was far and away the most accessible.

Don Granato probably the most qualified finalist, will continue bringing in NHL draftees and has the most experience.

Seth is the best fit for the job. He can repair the damage done to the program last week, reinvigorate student support and take DU hockey to new heights.

Connections to Gwozdecky are the wildcard. DU has made some terrible decisions recently. Will the cold streak continue?

Anonymous said...

I don't think NHL draftees are the priority. Get a few of them--a couple second rounders, maybe some third/fourth rounders. Let the rest go to Minnesota and leave college hockey after one or two years. What we need is a college coach who can build a TEAM. I'm for Appert, followed by LaLonde and then Granato. All three are good candidates, but I agree that Appert just seems "right" for the job in many ways.

dggoddard said...

The late, great Jim White introduced me to Derek before be officially joined the DU coaching staff. Right off the bat Derek was open, engaging and terrific with DU fans.

I'm sure many have similar stories.

Would love to hear the interviews of the various candidates.

timt89 said...

I really like Appert and Lalonde. They both have been around the program and understand how things work at DU. While Granato has great qualifications, I think we could move forward a lot easier with Appert and Lalonde. Also, he has moved around a bit too much for my liking.

It would say a lot ( in a good way) about the athletic department if they were willing to bring a coach in with Gwozdecky connections. Appert and Lalonde could hit the ground running.

Twister said...

Are we to be surprised that Appert and LaLonde are leading candidates? The feeling I got after last week was DU would look for an external candidate, one without DU connections and certainly without connections to Gwoz. I'm sure some of that was hearsay, but it seemed that there was some ill will between Gwoz and DU. Regardless, I'm stoked that Appert and LaLonde are candidates. Have to think that the transition for both guys would be seamless, given their past history at DU. Plus, I really like the fact that both guys have been part of championship teams.

Nincompoop said...

LaLonde leaving the Gamblers.... could have big implications for Carle too. Verrrrry interesting. Could Carle wind up back here as DU paid assistant ? Or maybe put Carle in consideration for the Gamblers Head slot? Or Carle behid Gwoz at his next team?? It's cool all these names are all guys are all products of The Gwoz regime.

dggoddard said...

Where did you find Lalond leaving Gamblers?

Nincompoop said...

Did not find it anywhere, but if he was to coach the Pios, that would be a hell of a commute, if he intended to also keep his day job in Wisconsin......

dggoddard said...

The guy I'd be looking at as an assistant down the road as soon as his playing days are over is Peter Mannino.

That guy bleeds Crimson.

Anonymous said...

Hell yeah on Mannino. I have the feeling he'd be an excellent coach someday.

Anonymous said...

So, lets say that Seth is the next head coach, and considering the fact that the rest of the staff appears intact, does Steve Miller stick around? Since Miller generally has the initial contact with recruits, I would assume people's inclination that the recruits will bail is likely mitigated and all the dumbass doom and gloomers can chill for a minute...

dggoddard said...

According to Schlossman's Twitter chatter a USHL coach is interviewing for the DU job tomorrow as well.

https://twitter.com/SchlossmanGF

I've got a pretty good guess on the candidate. But now that DU has made interviewing for another coaching job a fireable offense, it takes the fun out guessing.

What the Heck - Dave Hakstol.

disince59 said...

I hope they invite the public when the new coach is introduced

Anonymous said...

All I can say is kudos to this blog for breaking this story a couple days ago. And with the Grand Forks press guy yapping about it now ... it all makes perfect sense! I'm telling you right now - it's Monique Lamareaux!!
Peg wants a fresh face, fresh name, fresh ideas and something to set the college athletics world on it's collective ear. I'd say a hot blonde would do the trick. Add in her family and personal hockey accomplishments....... BINGO. She'll get these guys in gear and into the post season! You go girl. Here comes Mo!!!

David J Smith '81 said...

dgoddard and I agree about the NHL connections. We are not a farm team we are (at the moment) a rudderless ship.

I like Appert, Lalond and Granato, but they cant carry Greg Brown's jock. International playing experience; learning from Jerry York, NOT 5 Frozen 4's, but 5 Championship games in 8 years. Is it a coincidence that this good to great happened once he arrived. I don't think so.

I posted the other day and now I called my hockey people in Boston. They all say (even the BU guys) that he is the catalyst for the last 8 years.

Lets hope Peg and Ron have this man on the short list.

Anonymous said...

If Monique and her twin Jocelyne come as a packaged deal, I'm sold.

Anonymous said...

I dunno. Monique Lamoreaux has that whole family chin/jaw thing going on. Fugly....

pesimisticfan said...

The reason none of you are high on Granato is because none of you have any idea who he is. One of my younger brother's buddies (John Hayden- Yale Commit) has been playing for him, and told the both of us that he is a great coach, great to play for, and brings a lot of intensity. He's my first choice...He'll also bring a ton of USNTDP talent with him...But, Lalonde is definitely a close #2

Anonymous said...

You're right, I personally don't know much about Granato. But if he ends up being the choice, then your words are encouraging.

Anonymous said...

Easy choice Lalonde

Anonymous said...

You guys are placing continuity higher than talent.

What has Appert won as a head coach? Nada.

Granato was AHL coach of the year, ECHL coach of the Year, and NHL assistant coach and knows the US talent pool better than anyone as the USA u18 coach. I'd say that trumps Apperts ocahing career, which is limited to a good college assistant and a mediocre college head coach.

dggoddard said...

If Seth sucks, why did RPI lock him up with a long term contract? Chris Knowlton's dad is the AD at RPI and trust me those guys love Seth.

RPI finished 2nd this year in the ECAC, which in the past would be no big deal. Until you see that Qunnipiac finished first & Yale finished third and they both made the Frozen Four.

Finally, the turkeys that fired Gwozdecky are the one's hiring the new coach. They probably won't hire Seth or Derek and you can take a guess what's going to happen when they roll out an outside candidate as head coach.

Anonymous said...

Dggoddard I was wondering if you heard anything about this.

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20130404/GPG020110/130404032/More-changes-coming-Horizon-League?nclick_check=1

dggoddard said...

Thanks for the link.

First I've heard of the Horizon League.

Heard that DU was getting a visit from the Missouri Valley Conference.

The West Coast Conference has been mentioned if DU adds baseball, softball & cross country [$5 million?].

Can't recall the exact numbers but DU paid something like $800,000 to join the WAC and another $800,000 to join the Summit League [Correct me if I'm wrong].

Then Coombe cut the Athletics budget $500,000 for next year. So you can see where Gwozdecky stepped on a landmine if he was asking for a raise or a fancy new contract.

The Conference Russian Roulette probably doomed Gwozdecky. Clearly its not over yet and thanks to a hoops program on the rise, DU is finally getting some looks from some neat little conferences.

But at what cost?

And will those conferences survive if some of the elite schools get picked off?

timt89 said...

Appert is clearly one of the best young coaches in college. Bringing kids to RPI is no easy task and he is up for coach of the year in his conference. Lalond's credentials speak for themselves.

There is such a fine line between coaches and teams today in college hockey. It is more about motivation and system as it is recruiting. Lalonde and Seth both fit the bill.

Plus, they bring something that the others do not - a link to our past. They understand the culture and the community. They can heal some of the damage with alums and community. Over the short term, that may be more important than W' & L's.

Anonymous said...

Man, the suspense is building.......this is like waiting for the new Pope to be elected.

D31 said...

I would love to see Appert come back. Great young coach, solid recruiter. A top guy too.

dggoddard said...

Just a guess on my part but the mystery 4th USHL coach is likely DU alum Scott McConnell.

If I'm wrong someone can correct me.

dggoddard said...

Vegas Odds On Next DU Coach:

Don Granato 6-5
Seth Appert 7-5
Derek Lalonde 2-1
4th Candidate 10-1
George Gwozdecky 11-1
Coombe Gets Fired 15-1
Don Cherry 100-1
Scotty Bowman 200-1
Barry Melrose 300-1
Margaret Thatcher 500-1
Don Lucia 1000-1
David Carle 2000-1
Denver Boone 3000-1
Mike Shanahan 4000-1
Scotty Owens 5000-1

Anonymous said...

Re the above pope comment: look up on the roof of the Ritchie center. The workmen are right now installing a small metal chimney.

Anonymous said...

Granato:
Strengths: Lots of Pro coaching experience and good access to US U18 talent pool. Great hockey family. Could draw casual hockey fans to DU.

Weaknesses: Been fired before, no college coaching experience, no DU ties, no masters degree

Appert:
Strengths: Deep DU experience and choice of DU hockey alums, good college head coach, great recruiter, has masters degree, program philospophy continuity from Gwoz

Weaknesess:
No pro experience, hasn't won much in college yet

Lalonde:
Strengths: Solid DU experience, good junior head coach, good recruiter, has masters degree, program continuity

Weaknesess:
No pro experience and limited overall coaching experience compared to Appert and Granato

McConnell:
Strengths: DU hockey alum, grandson of Badger Bob, would likley coach for less $.

Weaknesess:
Young. All his experience at USHL level. Might be too much of a step for him. No masters degree.

Anonymous said...

What in hades does a masters degree have to do with this selection???

Anonymous said...

DU wants all of its coaches to have master degrees.

Probably not for the direct value to the oaching process, but to show parents and recruits that DU takes its academics seriously.

Anonymous said...

So who's the favorite? My money is on Appert.

pesimisticfan said...

Sorry that Granato doesn't have DU ties, but he's defintiely the right choice everybody...

Anonymous said...

When can we expect white smoke from the Ritchie Center?



du78 said...

If McConnell is a candidate, the interview won't happen til after Saturday as he and his team are on their way to Youngstown, OH to wrap up their season.

sage advice said...

If you go to jail for smoking dope with the pope, be sure to pack some soap on a rope and don't lose hope.

Nincompoop said...

This is a practical skills assessment interview as well. Can you stand on the Dasher Boards and wail your arms? Next, you're blindsided with 5 Stickney jokes....Can you keep a straight face? There's actually a driving portion as well.....how well do you react when the heater and AC goes out? Another test involves a female TV Interviewer showing her cleavage as she asks you hockey questions. Next, you're asked to find the locker room from behind the bench...but you must touch the ice surface first. Then......the Todd Anderson look alike enters the interview room and your blood pressure is taken.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff Nincompoop. Excellent interview questions.

Anonymous said...

Amazing that Gwoz is 5th on the Vegas list ... lol.

And how does DU spend $1.6M so that they can spend another $500K just to switch conferences again?

I'm thinking that DU has not only lost the rudder, but also the engine on the boat.

Very sad.

DU/CC Dad said...

Yale 3-2 over UMass Lowell in OT.

Anonymous said...

Go St. Cloud ... Make the WCHA proud in our last hurrah!

Anonymous said...

3-zip Q up over STC after 1. If this holds up the ECAC is guaranteed a title. I still want St. Cloud to win but that would be pretty cool for them

Anonymous said...

Chambers says on twitter that du is planning on naming head coach this weekend and announcing on Monday. Finalist are appert, lalonde, brown (BC) and Montgomery (rpi and nd). I haven't heard Montgomery being mentioned yet so I'm not sure of his credentials but, given the situation, I'd be really happy with all 4. Obviously appert/lalonde/brown have many pros we are all familiar with. For Montgomery, given the rpi/appert/knowlton connection, I'm sure he came very highly recommended

Anonymous said...

Granato is out. Appert, Lalonde, BC 's Greg Brown and Jim Montgomery are the four finaliists.

Greg Brown would be amazing. Two time Olympian, former BC star, played in the NHL,eight years under Jeryy York who is the best current coach in College Hockey.

old pio said...

Is there some way we could turn Adolph off? He's become a huge pain in the ass.

Anonymous said...

BROWN, BROWN AND MORE BROWN PLEASE.

BESIDES HIS RECORD, HIS BROTHER WON 2 STANLEY CUPS.

PEG - PLEASE GET THE PRESS CONFERENCE GOING

Anonymous said...

What does anyone's brother have to do with anything?

Anonymous said...

the brother has alot of knowledge about winning at the highest level - Something that we at DU haven't had in 7+ years. We need these kind of guys around. Instant credibility

Anonymous said...

Uh...OK....

Anonymous said...

Brown would be great, until he bolts for the BC job when York retires. If they hire Brown, they would need some kind of clause in his contract to address that potential situation. Seems to me that Appert would be a more secure hire.

dggoddard said...

Brown could also be using the process to determine his market value.

DU offered me "X" and I want that as an assistant and to become head coach when York retires.

With Appert & Lalonde you know you are getting some semblance of stability.

But don't think for a second that if Appert kicked ass at DU and the Gophers came a knockin'...

Anonymous said...

I disagree about them using Brown as a negotiating ploy.

I am DU and BC law Grad and know the Brown family. I watched many practices as I played in the intramural hockey teams. I saw Greg Brown with the kids alot. He is the real deal,. A quiet but poised man that with sheer presence coupled with learning from the Grand Master York, will lead us back to the promised land.

I think he is our guy.

Anonymous said...

word has it that York is seeking an extension. Brown probably knows this and needs to step out on his own.

5 final games in 8 years. the first one may have been an accident, but the 3rd, 4th and 5th ones!

dggoddard said...

Interesting comments above.

You could make the case that if Brown and his family [kids aged 14 & 12] moved to Denver and loved the schools and the area he might never leave.

Anonymous said...

Don't see what Vegas pays for Monty above. Confirmed- he's the guy. Yuck.