No Joke - Gwozdecky Fired As DU Coach


The University of Denver Website and the Denver Post reported that University of Denver Hockey Coach George Gwozdecky is resigning effective immediately.  The Denver Post edited their original article to say that Gwozdecky was fired.  Multiple University of Denver sources informed LetsGoDU that a buyout of the final year of his contract has been in the works.

Gwozdecky is one of the greatest coaches in college hockey and his turnaround of the DU hockey program at the University of Denver was a monumental performance.  In 19 seasons at DU, he failed to win 20 games only three times.

DU's two National Championship in 2004 and 2005 ended a 34 year drought that had seen the program sink to a constant WCHA cellar dweller before his arrival on campus.
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Gwozdecky will address the media in a press conference on Tuesday at 11 AM MT in the Champions Room.

98 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not a huge suprise given the contract impasse over the last few years.

DU likely did not have the money to give him what he wanted.

He will be missed.

Anonymous said...

New coach: Boone!!!

Brendan Loy said...

First off, I'm still not willing to completely rule out the possibility that this is an epic April Fools joke by the university itself, though I admit that's highly unlikely.

Barring that... what the Hell?! Was Gwozdecky's seat considered warm?! I don't follow hockey, really -- I'm a basketball guy -- but I was under the impression that Gwozdecky was considered one of the top coaches in the country, and was probably coach-for-life as DU if he wanted it. Is that not accurate? And if not, why not? What am I missing here? Read the quotes from Peg Bradley-Doppes in the press release. Talk about damning with faint praise:

"We certainly wish George the best in his future endeavors and we are thankful for his 19 years at the helm of our hockey program. He certainly had his fair share of success, returning the program to the pinnacle of the collegiate hockey world during our great run in the middle of the previous decade. In addition, he has always run our program with class and professionalism, which has certainly made our fans proud to be Pioneer supporters."

Not the overuse of the word "certainly" -- she used it in all three sentences -- a verbal tic that implies you're conceding just as much ground as you absolutely must, and no more. And of course the reference to success "in the middle of the previous decade" stands out as implying the most recent success hasn't been good enough. "His fair share of success" also sounds like an effort to minimize it.

I'm out of my depth here, but this seems crazy. Am I wrong?

Jordan said...

In some ways it's not a surprise. In some ways I never saw it coming.

Wow. Careful what you wish for, I guess, for all parties (including those who comment here like me).

Appert? Miller?

Anonymous said...

Wow. It has been an absolute pleasure as a DU fan to follow DU hockey under Coach Gwozdecky's leadership. It's hard to imagine having another coach at the helm. I would have loved to see them work out a new contract, but they obviously ran into some difficulties. 19 years is an awesome run for a coach, and the memories of the 2 national championships will live on forever for me, DU hockey fans, and the university. This is a sad day, but it's also exciting to see what the future holds for DU hockey. Go Pioneers, and HUGE thanks to coach Gwozdecky for all he did and accomplished over the years. He's a great man, and he'll be one of the icons in DU hockey history.

Anonymous said...

This is about money.

Gwoz wanted a big new contract like the one he signed before.

DU no longer does contracts like the one Gowz signed under the old administration.

I would imagine DU bought him out.

Anonymous said...

I hope it's just an April Fools joke......

Jordan said...

This is rumored to be a factor of incredible budget mismanagement by the University as a whole, and it's affecting everyone. I got this info from someone in the know, but how far into the know, I'm not sure.

Forget Boone for a second, if that's true, Coombe's administration needs to be gone for far more important reasons.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised at all.
Gwoz has been great, but since 2005, we have hit a wall and haven't done any damage in the NCAA's.

Anonymous said...

We will likely lose a chunk of recruits and early signings now.

DU will slide for a while while the new coach gets his own guys in to the system.

dggoddard said...

Coach Gwozdecky did an incredible job as a leader, teacher, coach, recruiter and representative of the University of Denver.

The 2004 and 2005 National Championships will forever stand as a monument to the program he built. In particular the 2004 NC in Boston was literally a magical achievement that one doesn't get to experience often in one's life.

Anonymous said...

DU is not mis-managing it's budget.

This has been in the works for a long time now.

Lot of factors at play:

-Athletics budget cuts
-Three expensive coaches now
-Drop in hockey attendence
-1-6 record in NCAA play since 2005
-Different type contracts now (no balloon payments under currrent admin) vs the one Gwoz had signed back in 2004
-Board of Trustees likely unhappy--New coach will be chaeper

Anonymous said...

Fuck you, DU.

(not a troll from another fanbase, DU alumni and long time season ticket holder).

Anonymous said...

2:52--easy to have a harsh reaction at this point, but would be best to reserve judgment til more facts come out.

Anonymous said...

Rats deserting a sinking ship. Just the tip of the "fiscal" fiasco yet to come. Stay tuned

Michael Tarelli said...

WTF That is all (Season Ticket Holder)

dggoddard said...

This will be a PR minefield for DU.

Gwozdecky was very, very popular with the fanbase, the season ticket holders, former players, the students, alumni and the area residents.

DU made this move with eyes wide open and will make the case that the high contract terms, NCAA playoff performance and Gwozdecky's loyalty to DU were under question.

The decision was made at the Board of Trustees level and the Board will be heavily involved with the Search Committee.

But you have to wonder if the rank and file fans that plonk down hard earned money for season tickets are going to buy the message from DU.

Anonymous said...

The only way this would be an April Fool's joke is if the headline read: "Gwozdecky Resigns, Will Help Start D1 Hockey Program at Metro"

Anonymous said...

The reasons for this '74 alum to continue to support DU have become few and far between.

Anonymous said...

@ Brendan:

First off, I'm still not willing to completely rule out the possibility that this is an epic April Fools joke by the university itself, though I admit that's highly unlikely.

The DU administration doesn't have a sense of humor that I'm aware of....

Barring that... what the Hell?! Was Gwozdecky's seat considered warm?!

Depends on who you ask. There have been some grumblings in the athletic department that simply making the NCAAs isn't good enough. DU relies on the hockey program to make money and that's not possible without butts in the seats....and nothing puts butts in the seats like winning on a national stage.

According to some, Gwoz just hasn't done enough of that recently.

I don't follow hockey, really -- I'm a basketball guy -- but I was under the impression that Gwozdecky was considered one of the top coaches in the country...

He is considered as such by most observers and the media. However, there are and have always been some quiet undercurrents of discontent with Gwoz and the way he runs the program - particularly from players.

...and was probably coach-for-life as DU if he wanted it.

Nope. Antiquated notion...unless you're routinely competing for National Championships. See Krzyzewski, Mike.

Is that not accurate? And if not, why not? What am I missing here?

Hockey is different than hoops. Since there are so many fewer teams, simply making the tournament year in and year out isn't enough to keep a coach's job at a place like Denver, where being in legitimate conversation for a Frozen Four bid is (and should be) expected. You need to actually have some success in the tournament.

Couple that with the contract coming due and it's, frankly, unsurprising that we're talking about this today.

Read the quotes from Peg Bradley-Doppes in the press release. Talk about damning with faint praise:

Now there's a phrase I haven't heard in a long time....

"We certainly wish George the best in his future endeavors and we are thankful for his 19 years at the helm of our hockey program. He certainly had his fair share of success, returning the program to the pinnacle of the collegiate hockey world during our great run in the middle of the previous decade. In addition, he has always run our program with class and professionalism, which has certainly made our fans proud to be Pioneer supporters."

Not the overuse of the word "certainly" -- she used it in all three sentences -- a verbal tic that implies you're conceding just as much ground as you absolutely must, and no more. And of course the reference to success "in the middle of the previous decade" stands out as implying the most recent success hasn't been good enough. "His fair share of success" also sounds like an effort to minimize it.


Agreed. That wasn't as eloquently phrased as I'd have expected.

Anonymous said...

Would you want to coach in front of 2000 fans a night? If your admin had half a brain, you'd hire Cary Eades.

timt89 said...

It was clear that something was up as contract (re)negotiations were going on 2-3 years. If there was an intention to keep him, it would have handled before this point. Gwoz has been a great representative for DU and I always felt proud to follow him and his teams. For whatever reason, I think it was clear to him as well and the situation got more uncomfortable. He looked pretty despondent during the UNH game and did not seem to have the usual fire--he knew this was the end. He will go down as a legend and one of the finest coaches ever at DU.

As painful as it is to say, I think we are ready for a change. As we look at all the new faces in the NCAA tournament, one can't help but realize that there are different ways achieve success in collegiate hockey. But for today, I would like to thank Coach Gwozdecky for what he did for all of us. He did it the right way. It would have been great if he was a Pioneer for life but that is the exception these days.

Twister said...

This is stunning, absolutely stunning. Look, no one is happy about the drought since 2005. I think DU has underachieved significantly in some of these postseason games. But in a one-and-done format anyone can lose. Regardless, Gwoz has been the face of DU hockey for as long as I can remember. He ran a top-notch, well respected program, and his players and staff were great representatives of DU. I'm shocked.

Anonymous said...

If your admin had half a brain, you'd hire Cary Eades.

He does have that whole Joel Quinneville inspired mustache thing going on....

Anonymous said...

If your admin had half a brain

Many of us aren't sure they do.

Brendan Loy said...

Thanks for the thorough response, Anonymous.

I could be wrong, but I have a sense that the upcoming hockey coach hire -- and the success or failure of that coach -- could be significant in determining Peg Bradley-Doppes's level of job security going forward.

Fair or not, the recent conference-hopping (and reported rejection of the Missouri Valley's overtures), plus the Boone controversy, plus the prospect of running out a highly respected coach and replacing him with -- if this happens, which it hopefully won't -- someone who doesn't have much success, seems like it could really inflame the fan base and put Peg in some jeopardy. (Even though I would think this decision was probably made, at least in significant part, by folks above her.)

On the other hand, Joe Scott's boys could finally get an NCAA bid and go to the Sweet 16 next year, Denver could get into the WCC in 2015, the hockey team could win a national title in 2016 (with a new, broadly supported mascot cheering them on), and Peg & the administration could look like complete geniuses all around. But I'm just saying, this feels like kind of a perilous moment.

Shram said...

"in the middle of the previous decade"....OUCH

I'm not mad, yet, depending on the details that come out. He's wanted to renegotiate his contract for years and has seemed pretty patient, to me. On the other hand, I think we've had a tough time getting up for big games for several years, and I started to wonder during the season if any of it was his fault.

Regardless, best of luck Gwoz.

Jordan said...

But I'm just saying, this feels like kind of a perilous moment.

There's an understatement. As if there wasn't enough turmoil at DU or in college hockey right now. Hopefully your latter scenario plays out.

DU administration hasn't been super open recently, though. Who knows what the thought processes are.

B said...

Chambers now says, "fired".

"George Gwozdecky fired as Denver Pioneers hockey coach"

SIOUX 7 said...

It now means "The National" best dressed coach will be up for grabs in its inaugural season.
(Gwoz was the clear favorite, in that category.)

Being a Sioux fan, I will miss having him in the league too. He was a formidable force in the WCHA, and college hockey.

Perhaps he got a job offer form GQ magazine...

:)

Anonymous said...

Fans see the great side of Gwoz - the NCAA titles, the 20 win seasons, the clean program, the high academic success, and they assume he was near perfect.

Fans don't see the downside of him - the lengthy contract issues, his loyalty to DU (he shopped himself around for other jobs) and his personal style did not mesh well with some people.

At the end of the day, the school felt they had to buy him out.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell is Cary Eades? There should be some good candidates out there, ones that we have actually heard of. Probably suggested by the same troll that is off by 3,000 on DU's attendance.

Anonymous said...

Gwoz was a great coach, it was a good deal to keep him around for 19 years. That said, if they couldn't work it out, there were probably some significant issues at play, and it just wasn't meant to be. I will miss the consistency of success, but I look forward to improvements in first and second round NCAA tourney success.

SIOUX 7 said...

Cary Eades was an assistant at North Dakota until the 12-13 season.

Anonymous said...

@ B:

Make no mistake, Gwoz was fired.

Anonymous said...

I doubt Cary Eades would be considered for the DU job.

There is a reason Haktstol had to fire him, and that's why he's unilikely every to be a college coach.

Anonymous said...

Your an absolute idiot if you haven't heard about Cary Eades and you claim to follow WCHA college hockey. I remember him being bashed here and called Hilter on a pretty regular basis since he coached UND's defensemen up until the start of this season. He'd be a good pick up, and every Sioux fan would get a chuckle out of an ex UND guy coaching at DU.

Anonymous said...

What makes you think DU is able to attract top level coaches after the way they treated Gwoz? Remember you have to pay coaches. Your going to get some assistant coach from somewhere. I hear the former UAA coach is available. Goodnight DU.

Anonymous said...

There will be no shortage of good applicants for the Denver job.

Top league, great place to live, great school, tradition of success, solid pay, good budget, flagship sport, and moderate pressure. It's in much better shape than the program Gwoz took over in 1994.

Anonymous said...

Look, Anon 4:07, the WCHA does not revolve around ex-assistant coaches - even if they were ejaculated from the frozen wasteland that is Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Also, YOU'RE an absolute idiot if you don't know the difference between the words "YOUR" and "YOU'RE"...and if you just don't care to type them correctly, then YOU'RE just intellectually lazy, which is worse.

Anonymous said...

Your...oh I mean you're the idiots without a coach. ;) suck it.

Jordan said...

What makes you think DU is able to attract top level coaches after the way they treated Gwoz?

This is a valid concern. Sure, we can say the applicant pool will be good. But who we actually get- and how we retain them- are areas for debate, now that it's clear that this was DU's decision.

Anonymous said...

Lots of player support (current and former) on the internet, but this one is very concerning to me (and, painfully obvious at the same time):

Wade Bennett: Not happy to see @CoachGwoz go..Really the biggest reason any of us even chose @DU_Hockey #coachinglegend #halloffame

Anonymous said...

Let's clarify......"Great" city that doesn't give a shit about DU hockey.

Anonymous said...

Maybe CC will fire Scott Owens. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

DU hockey was turned around by Gwoz and not DU. Those are some monster shoes to fill.

Anonymous said...

Players are PISSED. Feels like the sky is falling:

Zack Hope: @MChambersDP Apparently DU measures postseason success by the number of NIT appearances it makes. #attagirlPeg #ridiculous

Anonymous said...

Funny to see the north dakota fans recovering enough from getting smoked by Yale, to be able to troll on the DU board again. Better luck next year, gotta take care of those #15 seeds next time. Too bad DU has won 2 national titles since your last one, but maybe you will win again someday.

Losing Gwoz sucks big time. He is the man, on many levels. But there will be no shortage of good applicants for this premier job in college hockey. Maybe not the caliber of a rejected assistant coach from the wasteleand that is North Dakota, but we can still dream, right? Blasi would be my #1 choice, followed by Appert.

Anonymous said...

With how you treated Gwoz, I no longer think DU is a premiere college hockey destination. UNLESS THEY PAY SOMEONE.

To DoucheAnon 4:30....ND's future looks a lot brighter than DU's at this moment. Your last title was 8 years ago. Your a big man.

To the DU players...get your transfer papers ready.

Twister said...

If the two sides negotiated in good faith but just couldn't come to an agreement, then so be it--we move on with a new coach in a new conference. Or if Gwoz was indeed "shopping himself around" and looking for the next big deal, I can completely understand DU deciding to part ways with a coach who loyalty was questionable. But if the real reason he's gone is lack of postseason success in the last 8 years, that's ridiculous. Name a coach, besides Jerry York, who has had a lot of success recently. Winning a NC is hard.

I hope we get some more details tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

You're

Anonymous said...

What makes you think DU is able to attract top level coaches after the way they treated Gwoz?

This is a valid concern. Sure, we can say the applicant pool will be good. But who we actually get- and how we retain them- are areas for debate, now that it's clear that this was DU's decision.

Eh.

Everything else being equal, I actually don't think that's an issue of great concern, here.

College sports are a "what have you done for me lately" world and head coaches at this level understand that they are retained based on recent results.

To the coaching community, it's no shocker that Gwoz was shown the door. Every person that steps into Peg's and Ron's office to interview for the vacancy will know going in that, should they get the job, they are expected to not just compete, but WIN on a national level.

Now, if priorities have changed and DU only expects their hockey program to exist without embarrassing the university, then all bets are off...but, given Peg's statement, I think it's highly likely that DU intends for its hockey team to remain a high priority.

Anonymous said...

Josiah Didier ‏@JDidier4

Thanks to @CoachGwoz for an incredible 2 seasons. You are why I came to DU. Great coach and even better person. #verysad #legend

Anonymous said...

Matt Donovan ‏@SquatchDonovan

Baffled to see DU part ways w/ @CoachGwoz. Was a great coach for the university for a long time & a big reason I went there. #GoodLuckGeorge

Anonymous said...

Peter Mannino ‏@ManninoPeter 1h

@MChambersDP @denverpost @DU_Hockey Extremely disappointed and saddened with the schools actions with @CoachGwoz! Players are not happy!


Pretty representative of twitter comments right now.

old pio said...

Surprised. Shocked. Saddened. I confess I didn't see this coming. The Pioneers under Gwoz were a class act all the way. Think back to the Dora incident, where he benched his 2nd leading scorer, who had netted the GWG against UMD, on the eve of the biggest DU game in a generation. Then, when the team appeared in the White House, President Bush mentioned Dora. He had obviously been fed the information. Let the kid know that his contributions weren't forgotten because of one mistake. That he had been an important part of getting to that title game. It was just so classy.

If, as some have suggested, this move was primarily financial, Gwoz wanted too much, DU is cutting back on budgets, then we may be in doop up to our eyeballs.

On the other hand, if DU jettisoned Gwoz because the trustees were frustrated by lack of post-season success and inferentially want DU to be back in the mix for the national title, then it could be a good thing. A very good thing.

Under any circumstances, Pioneer fans owe Gwoz a huge debt of gratitude. He brought DU out of the wilderness. Produced winning teams, with good students, and no scandals. We don't want to go back to the wilderness. We want more banners. I desperately hope this move means the powers that be do, too.

Chelsea said...

I sent Coach Gwoz a short email thanking him for his dedication. So sad to see him go, he developed not only better hockey players, but better young men as well.

dggoddard said...

While the former and current players reactions via Twitter are not surprising, how in the world is DU going to mend the fences with these former players?

How's it going to look if he ends up at Harvard, CC, Sconnie or wherever else and all his former players start training and attending pre-camp workouts away from DU?

Anonymous said...

Twister--you're right that it's tough to win national titles. Takes skill, smarts and luck. But it's not that tough to win first round NCAA tournament games. 1-5 in the last 6 years is kinda baffling with the talent we've had, and with the coach we had. It's Gwoz's one blemish. Not enough to get him fired, in my opinion. But just enough to provide some kind of results-based reason for the firing...tho I suspect that 90% of the reason was $$$

achsdu17 said...

Gwozdecky, you are going to be very missed. You took our hockey program out of the dark times and brought us back to glory. Multiple WCHA Championships, Frozen Four appearances and 2 National Titles. You made the University of Denver a hot bed for elite hockey, you made the fans care and made our program the most successful collegiate program in all of Colorado. Thank you for all you've done. One things for sure... one school is defiantly going to get a top natch coach.

Anonymous said...

@ DG:

"While the former and current players reactions via Twitter are not surprising, how in the world is DU going to mend the fences with these former players?"

Short answer: DU isn't going to mend these fences.

Whatever the reasons are that DU had for making this decision will never be good enough for the former players.

Unfortunate, but there you have it.

"How's it going to look if he ends up at Harvard, CC, Sconnie or wherever else and all his former players start training and attending pre-camp workouts away from DU?"

Forgive me for saying so, but who gives a green, runny shit about training and pre-camp workouts with former players? They don't lead to wins on the ice by the current players.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the former players. How are they going to mend the relationships with the current players. Many of them (if not all) came here to play for Gwoz. This is upsetting.

Anonymous said...

Also.....what about future recruits de-comitting.

dggoddard said...

Decommitting recruits?

A real possibility, unless DU can get something done ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the former players. How are they going to mend the relationships with the current players. Many of them (if not all) came here to play for Gwoz. This is upsetting."

Yep. The concerns of current players are far more germane to this discussion than the feelings of the former players.

Not to, in any way, trivialize what Gwoz meant (and will continue to mean) to this program, but the thing is, for every player that came here to "play for Gwoz", there are literally hundreds that COULD have, but chose to go elsewhere....

Also.....what about future recruits de-comitting.

A potential issue, to be sure. You have to expect to lose several. But, depending on whom DU brings in to run the ship, such losses can be somewhat mitigated.

Anonymous said...

Coaching changes are part of college sports.

We were lucky to have Gwoz for 19 years.

Anonymous said...

First Boone is shown the door, now Gwoz. The inmates are running the asylum.

Anonymous said...

Easy for DU fans to side with Gwoz. He won games. He was clean. He graduated his kids. Ran a model program.

But there are reasons even the best coaches can get fired...

Ask the Board of Trustees why they didn't want to resign Gwoz...

Anonymous said...

The Board of Trustees and Peg would be smart to explain their decision to the public. But at the same time, they aren't going to publicly bash a well-regarded man like Gwozdecky. So I wonder if and when the facts will actually come to light.

Anonymous said...

Gotta pay for the obama show in Oct 2012

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 5:52 -

"The Board of Trustees and Peg would be smart to explain their decision to the public. But at the same time, they aren't going to publicly bash a well-regarded man like Gwozdecky. So I wonder if and when the facts will actually come to light."

It would be colossally stupid for the university to say anything further than what they already said.

If the decision is about money, then they risk coming across as cheap with regards to the tenure of a VERY popular coach.

If the decision is about wins and losses, then they risk besmirching the reputation of a guy that is, in no small way, responsible for the renaissance of DU hockey.

Neither result would be positive for the university.

Anonymous said...

Loyalty and greed are why they fired him....

Anonymous said...

Gwoz was good at taking Colorado players and building something special.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy this "loyalty" argument. If DU really was offended by Gwoz testing waters (if this even happened), they need to grow a pair. DU was waffling on a long-term deal for quite some time. If they wanted him to not look elsewhere (again, if this truly happened), they needed to lock him up. This is more than a game, this is Gwoz's life and his family's life. I don't blame him in the least bit if he entertained other options while DU was sitting on their hands.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 6:04:

"Loyalty and greed are why they fired him...."

Oh, please.

From the university perspective, loyalty in revenue generating sports extends only to the number of wins and losses your team generates and, by proxy, the amount of revenue your team brings in.

Never forget, Minnesota fired Doug Woog!!!

Unpleasant, perhaps, but welcome to the nasty side of college athletics...

Anonymous said...

I think I might have been the only person to see this earlier today... DG, for about 10 minutes or so this morning, you had posted an entry about the rumor mill building momentum behind Gwoz leaving DU. At first, I thought this was an April Fool's joke and was going to comment "ha ha". But, by the time I clicked on the link the blog entry was down. You must have received information that the rumors were no longer "rumors".

One other item with those rumors was that Gwoz would be heading to an ECAC team. Will be very interesting to see if that happens. I'm also very interested to know what other rumors this source might have reported. Obviously, whomever you heard from was dead right so far.

Coach said...

This is a mistake. The hockey program will suffer in the number of wins, quality of recruits, and ticket sales. I am going to think long and hard about whether to renew my season tickets. I`m not an alum and I don`t care about the basketball team. I`ll decide after a few weeks when I`ve calmed down.

Anonymous said...

This is one CC fan that would like to see the same thing happen to Scott Owens. His stay is long past it's welcome, if you ask me.

UDenver20 said...

Gene Chizik was let go by Auburn less than 2 years after winning a national title. Not because they were trying to advance their other sports, because football WAS their flagship sport (emphasis on was).

DU has given Gwoz (a great coach and a great asset to DU for nearly two decades) a long time to bring another banner back, almost a decade. We owe him our thanks and our recognition, but this business is about what you've done for me lately - not what did you do back in 2005... DU wants to be a big boy in D-I athletics, well, this was a big boy decision.

Bottom line, Gwoz has been getting one year contract extensions for several years, all of which we've been shown the door the moment the playoffs began. Yes, his kids have been well behaved and yes we've performed above average - but since when are those marks of excellence? Those things are baseline expectations.

Many thanks to Gwoz, but good is the enemy of great here. We need to be bringing in the championships not because DU is starting to see success in its other sports and is therefore "abandoning hockey", but because DU hockey is the reason those sports are advancing. Since when is having rockstar hockey, basketball, lacrosse, gymnastics, soccer, and ski teams a mutually exclusive proposition?

Now, if DU brings in some crappy replacement coach and dooms our hockey team to sub-par seasons for another decade, then flame away. But let's just see where things go from here...

Anonymous said...

Someone on a recent thread pointed out differences between the 4-year players who last won DU's NCs vs. today's crop of USNDTP-2-years-enroute-to-NHL types. I don't have comparatives across programs as to heaviest losses....and certainly note BC's success of late although they take in even more of those types... If the players (full roster!) aren't committed, coaching can only go so far....

Anonymous said...

Most DU players go to the ECHL. Gwoz should have agreat shot at being an assistant for the new denver cuthtroats.

Jordan said...

I'd be doing backflips if we got Rico, but I don't think it's going to happen.

There's a huge piece of this puzzle still missing. Whoever we hire, it will be a big statement from Peg about where here administration is taking the Athletics Department at DU. I think it's probably the clearest indicator we'll get, because transparently explaining things is not the MO around here.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a bummer to lose a great coach but I agree with the call for calm until more is known.
No university will do things at this level with the transparency that some people here think we are entitled to. We will likely not know the details of what happened, it likely involved differences in views on salary and expectation -they can't and won't disclose that. Bigger coaches in bigger sports move/get fired, goes with the territory. There is no evidence DU wants to abandon hockey (note Boone does NOT equal hockey).

I have to say, a handful of vocal people on this "lets go du" blug have been more anti-DU than anything lately (I'm not talking about ND or CC fans)

So I will still support them and buy my season tickets just like I have since they opened the Ritchie center, see you at the games next season if any of you are still fans. I like hockey, I like going to the games, I will still go.


Anonymous said...

Sad day for DU hockey. We will miss you coach gwozdecky.

Jordan said...

think the big difference is that it's NOT as unusual for a coach to stay somewhere for a long time in college hockey as it is in other sports, especially basketball and football. So it's not just one of those moments where we say "oh well, that's how it goes."

It's still a weird feeling, however logical the analyses that are starting to come out can be.

Boonetown said...

Hall of Fame coach with plenty of gas left in the tank let go. Not smart.

Perhaps George could see the path this current administration is going and was fired because he called them on it.

I'll renew my tickets, but I'll be damned if I buy any DU gear or concessions. I'll send any mail begging for donations back too.

Jordan said...

Gah! This is all just too much.

timt89 said...

I like Seth Appert and know that he would jump at the job. But, don’t count on it. DU is not going in-house. They are going to either select Greg Brown or Mike Cavanaugh, assistants from Boston College. They run a program and system that has proven to work during the regular season and during the NCAA’s. They have a model that has worked over an extended period of time and led to the most NCAA wins over the past 10 years. They are relatively young and have a track record of succcess.

“These are the programs with the most NCAA tournament wins over the last 10 years:
6. Wisconsin -- 10
5. Maine -- 12
3t. Minnesota -- 14
3t. Michigan -- 14
2. North Dakota -- 19
1. Boston College -- 28

Denver wound up ranked tied for seventh on that list with New Hampshire with 9 wins over 14 years. More than a respectable total until you realize that eight of nine of those games were in back-to-back title years in 2004 and 2005. The Pioneers have one Tournament win combined in all those other years. Ouch.” (Source: BC Interruption- SB Nation)

I would favor Brown with 9 years of experience, the same age George started with DU. He is assistant coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team, so immediate contact with prospects. He is in his ninth season as a member of the Eagles' coaching staff. He has helped guide BC to five NCAA Frozen Fours, including national championships in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Brown is a two-time U.S. Olympian, having played for the both the 1988 and 1992 U.S. Olympic men's ice hockey teams. His pedigree is eerily similar to George Gwozdecky when he was hired, minus the Miami HC experience. But he has worked under one of the best. Book it - this is the guy.

BC runs a clean program, has a similar profile to DU, has good kids, and consistently wins with their system. Plus, alums are likely to approve.

Dunker said...

TimT89 makes a strong case for Greg Brown, BC assistant. However no head coaching experience, and certainly no pssazz appeal in this hiring.

Pay attention to what DU78 writes

timt89 said...

Dunker-
I do think there is pizzazz with Greg Brown. Winning program and system. Direct links to player development. Coaching under a legend and ready to take the next step. Young enough to relate to players and recruits. Operates in an educational environment similar to Denver University. Olympic experience = player credibility.

I do not want a recycled head coach. Let's grow our own. What program has been better than BC over the past 10 years? While I am sure there are other candidates out there, this guy seems to have everything, And, if he works out, we could be looking at another 20 year run.

Jordan said...

Does anyone know if this will be on Pioneer Vision? It's scheduled at the same time as the regular weekly press conference.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a power move by the University of Denver. DU hockey fans love Gwozdecky and the schools, now unoffical, mascot Boone. Despite repeated attempts by students and alumni, the school refuses to recognize Boone as the school's official mascot again. As the students and alumni fight back, the school takes away Gwozdecky. Who will lose? I believe DU because there will be less donations to the school by alumni, the hockey program will not be as prestigious and attendance at hockey games could be hurt

OTTO said...

As a (soon to be former) season ticket holder that spends thousands every year on two groups of 4 seats, I will not spend a PENNY on DU Athletics as long as Peg is there. Call me when she understands what a "student-athlete" is like Gwoz understood. Wherever Gwoz ends up will have a fan in Denver. IN GWOZ WE TRUST.

Anonymous said...

It's not all Peg, folks.

It's the Board of Trustees.

Anonymous said...

Greg Brown is an Olympian and and NHL player as well as a BC assistant.

I would love to see him become coach, but he'd probably be the next coach at BC.

Anonymous said...

I'll renew my tix
It will be good hockey, maybe a lull, maybe not - attendance at DU is already lame so threats like ottos have little merit

Anonymous said...

Eades is a scum bag... All they would have to do is find out why UND fired him..

Anonymous said...

Fellow DU Alums,

There is nothing we can do now that Gwoz is gone. I REALLY REALLY like him, but he is no longer here.

Rumsfeld said, " You play with the coach you have/will be getting not the one you want" or something like that!

TimT89 nailed it with his post. Greg Brown and David Quinn were the 2 top available guys who know college, were great players and come from winning traditions. That is important, but they are CHARACTER GUYS! In hockey that means everything. Gwoz is a character guy as are his assistants, but we need to start anew.

The numbers don't lie and BC has a system that emphasizes TEAM and creating great college hockey players that in turn become part of great teams. 5 National Championship games in 8 years NOT Frozen 4's. That is the best run in college hockey history. I think a guy who has played in the Olympics, NHL, AHL, Swedish league, German League, Swiss League and Austrian leagues has seen just about everything. He clearly has been able to translate this for the kids.

I hope they are at least interviewing the guy and taking notes because something magical is/was going on in Chestnut Hill.

Lastly, several years ago when BC came to town and swept our beloved Pio's in or own building I had the pleasure of watching practice/pregame skate's twice. I watched the coached talk to the players NOT yell and scream over mistakes that were made. What I realized is that they were being taught and also to be accountable for their mistakes. Those nights BC smoked us by a combined 9-2. It was men against boys.

Lastly, there was a coach who was teaching while skating better than any of the players. In hindsight, it had to have been Greg Brown. He was the fastest, smoothest and smartest one out there. He was commanding, respectful, but yet everyone was listening. I hope Peg and the group gives this man a real look.

David J Smith '81