Gwozdecky: "I'm Not Done Coaching"

(above) Coach Gwozdecky impersonates Richard Nixon as he prepares to exit the Ritchie Center
From: Denver Post
by Terry Frei

If the 2012-13 season was a major issue in George Gwozdecky's firing this week, the veteran — and now former — University of Denver hockey coach is a bit bewildered.

"I thought we did one of our better coaching jobs this year," Gwozdecky said after his Tuesday news conference at Magness Arena. "We really felt this year would be a springboard to next year's team.

Being able to get home ice on the first round of the (league) playoffs, to be able to play in the national tournament, based on how many players we had coming back and how many guys left us (to sign pro contracts), and the lack of depth we had in the lineup? [read entire article]

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I will remain puzzled as well. He is an awesome coach and by all player accounts a great person as well. The university just shot themselves in the foot. I will really have to think about my season tickets. We'll see who we get to fill the gaping void. Cindy

Anonymous said...

There isn't that much to be puzzled about.

The Board of Trustees had to weigh his years of outstanding on-ice and off-ice program performance against a grinding history of contract structure intransigence added to what they saw as disloyal dalliances with other schools for contract leverage.

In the end, he played hardball with millionaries who don't care about hockey as much as we do.

At a school like DU, all big decisions like this are made by the Board.

Gwoz may have won over the hockey world and the general public.

But he did not win the Board.

Clearly, the board thinks differently and Gwoz was unable to adjust to it over 4 years of negotitations.

He thought he had enough leverage, when clearly, he didn't.

dggoddard said...

So what was the Board vote?

What Board members voted which way?

Can alumni and fans access the Board of Trustees Minutes?

Once again a decision made by the university lacking transparency. Before anyone pipes in with, "Its a private university, they can do whatever they like."

I'd remind everyone that Chancellor Coombe's slogan is, "Denver will be a great private university dedicated to the public good."

Anonymous said...

wow DG, based on your 10:04 comment, you really have no idea of how the real world works do you

dggoddard said...

Asking to see the Minutes of a Board Meeting is an unusual request?

Anonymous said...

I think it's simple. Gwoz wanted to be paid like a top 5 coach in college hockey, and the Board disagreed. Gwoz deserves to be paid on par with the other top coaches. I just think DU rather focus on, and divert their funds on trying to develop their basketball program. That's fine, but don't expect to attract top level coaches.

Anonymous said...

I don't really think the dollar amount of the contract was at issue as much as the structure of it.

Gwoz's old deal was made with the previous admnintration (Ritchie), and involved a sizable balloon payout at the end of the contract. That's what Gwoz wanted to continue with, and held firm about.

The current adminstration doesn't do those kinds of balloon contracts. For them, it's more immediate bonuses and lower base pay, without big end of contract payouts.

This contract issues dragged on for years, and was never solved.

The Board also got tired of Gwoz's leverage ploys with other schools, and the first round NCAA losses sine 2005 did not help, either. To a board member's way of thinking, higher ranked, funded and experienced DU should not lose to RIT or Ferris State. Period.

Then you add in the fact that DU has 3 major sports now and limited funds to make all of them competitive, you can see why the Board could let Gwoz go...

As hockey fans, it seems totally implausible, but to some of these millionaire board members who are not hockey fans, Gwoz was seen not as a hockey legend, but as an annoying petulant coach.

Mess with the Bull, and you get the horns...

Anonymous said...

"To a board member's way of thinking, higher ranked, funded and experienced DU should not lose to RIT or Ferris State. Period.

To be fair, any board member who thinks this is 100%, absolutely, unequivocally, CORRECT.

Nincompoop said...

And what about the Gwozdecky summer youth camp? Is that cancelled? What about the parents and campers who are returning or already paid? It's unfortunate. Alot of kids really benefited from it. It will be quite awkward to still hold it this summer, with GG and his former players as camp counselors.

Nincompoop said...

This also perhaps sets up a hell of a story line....if a Gwozdecky team ever plays Denver someday

dggoddard said...

Judging by the way Gwozdecky manhandled Minnesota & Wisconsin in recent years, DU would be foolish to schedule any Gwozdecky teams.

I'd expect the youth camps will be run by the new hockey coach.

I'd expect the hockey banquet to be hosted by the new coach. Perhaps a video by Gwozdecky, but the way things are going right now, even that might not be in the cards.

Anonymous said...

"Mess with the bull you get the horns?" I think that applies to the Board as well. This could very well back fire in their face. All coaches talk, and I am sure their are rumors and discussions going on right now in the coaching community about how the board treated Gwoz. i doubt we will be able to attract a top level coach. We are goning to get an underpaid assistant coach from somewhere. If your in your current job, and you feel like your under paid (which Gwoz was) don't you go out and test the waters? Why do you think companies counter? everyone on this board uses leverage in their everyday life. Why can't Gwoz?

Anonymous said...

You know if there is a job opening in another NCHC school, Gwoz is going to jump all over that to spite DU. In his defense......he should. Can you imagine if a UND job was open. I don't know if I could stand watching him behind a UND bench.

Anonymous said...

The Denver job is still a premier job, and there will be no shortage of interest from qualified candidates.

Sure, Gwoz can go test the waters. But if you do that in your own job, it can go one of two ways - you need to be prepared to get a counter offer from your employer or prepare to get fired for the perception of your lack of loyalty.

When Gwoz handled inquiries from Wisconsin and Michigan State years ago, DU gave him a raise to stay. When Gwoz later diddled around with OSU (and maybe others we don't know about specifically) he got the pink slip.

Anonymous said...

Gwoz couldn't handle the pressure cooker in GF. Plus, he would be too distracted coaching in front of 12000 every home game.

Anonymous said...

Gwoz is too classy to give a ref "the bird", so, yeah, he probably would not fit in grand forks...

Anonymous said...

Rumor is that Gwoz blew up at a meeting and Peg fired back - you're fired. So far the University is standing behind her but ....

Anonymous said...

"Rumor is that Gwoz blew up at a meeting and Peg fired back - you're fired. So far the University is standing behind her but ...."

I find this extremely difficult - bordering on impossible - to believe...

dggoddard said...

If that's the way it went down in Peg's office, DU needs to bring Gwozdecky back and set up a reality show in the Ritchie Center based loosely on "The Office" on PioVision.

Chevy Chase could play Coombe.

Anonymous said...

Peg didn't fall off a turnip truck folks, and many of the attacks on her are likely unfair. She has over 30 years in D-I sports, including 11 years as a coach.

She cut her teeth at Miami of Ohio (Cradle of Coaches), North Carolina and Michigan, some of the best athletic depts in the country.

She is unlikely to have been anything less than prepared for the meeting.

Her PR staff, however, is amateur hour...

Anonymous said...

I have to ask.....Is Peg by chance cousins with Todd Anderson? lol

Anonymous said...

Peg worked at North Carolina? Wouldn't be surprised if she was behind Dean Smith retiring/getting the ax. (that's a joke, but maybe worth looking into now that I think about it).Or maybe Lloyd Carr "retiring" at Michigan. This lady is a black widow for long tenured coaches.

timt89 said...

Forget Blasi, he is a close friend of Gwoz so no chance. Also, he has that program humming.

Anonymous said...

You really want to know why King George was fired? Because he deserved it!