DU's Seven Mascot Finalists Leaked On Facebook

(above) Boone signs autographs during DU's 14-5 lacrosse victory over Michigan
Sign Denver Boone Petition: 1,118 Signatures

Denver Boone is more popular than ever thanks to Chancellor Coombe, Kevin Carroll and the University of Denver's Mascot Task Force.  DU set up a "Create A Denver Pioneer Mascot Page" on Facebook and its become Ground Zero for Boone supporters. 

  • Mustang
  • Jackalope
  • Golden Retriever
  • Robot
  • Male & Female Climbers
  • Mountaineer
  • Elk

New UCONN Husky Logo Promotes Rape

As the University of Denver marches forward with its fraudulent Mascot Task Force that refuses to consider or allow Boone to be discussed as a potential mascot, despite overwhelming alumni support, now comes word that the UConn Husky Logo promotes rape. DU better tone down its proposed Golden Retriever mascot submission or PioNation shall soon face similar backlash.

The new logo for the University of Connecticut’s sports teams is a terrifying husky dog that calls to mind images of sexual assault, says one student.

The new logo was unveiled last week, receiving mixed-to-negative reviews from UConn fans who preferred the older, cuter husky dog.

But one student went much further, criticizing the new, meaner logo for being a pro-rape symbol.

In an open letter to UC President Susan Herbst, self-described feminist student Carolyn Luby wrote that the redesigned team logo will intimidate women and empower rape culture.

UConn basketball coach Geno Auriemma said the logo “is looking right through you and saying, ‘Do not mess with me.’ This is a streamlined, fighting dog, and I cannot wait for it to be on our uniforms and court."

In response, Luby wrote, “What terrifies me about the admiration of such traits is that I know what it feels like to have a real life Husky look straight through you and to feel powerless, and to wonder if even the administration cannot ‘mess with them.’ And I know I am not alone.”

There were two sexual assaults at UConn involving athletes in the past year, Luby claimed.

The logo and the teams it represents are menacing to women, she wrote.

“The face of real life UConn athletics is certainly capable of frightening college women,” wrote Luby.

Herbst did not respond to requests for comment.
(above) Paul Stastny posing with a Boone poster during his DU playing days
Sign Denver Boone Petition: 1,118 Signatures

Goal 1,000 Signatures

Big Weekend On Campus

[above] DU Rugby will play at Infinity Park on Saturday
#1 DU Women's Tennis vs. #5 Idaho @ Gates Tennis Center - WAC Semi's [2 PM]

#11 DU Women's Lacrosse team vs. Oregon @ Barton Stadium DU [5 PM]

DU Students: "The BIG Event" on Driscoll Green & Sturm Hall [9 PM-2 AM]

Men's Lacrosse vs. Michigan Wolverines [Noon] @ Barton Stadium

Pregame Lacrosse Tailgate starts at 9 AM, and DUGS is making pancakes

DU Men's Rugby vs. St. John's University @ Infinity Park in the FINAL FOUR of the NSCRO National Championship [3 PM]

Men's Soccer Spring Season game against Air Force [6:15 PM]

DU Hockey Banquet Tonight

(above) Jesse Martin speaking at the banquet two years ago
The University of Denver will host the 57th Annual Pioneer Hockey Awards Evening tonight at The Cable Center on the DU Campus. The Pioneers will celebrate the senior class of 2013 and the 2012-13 hockey season.

Much of the conversation, on and off the dias, will be sure to center around recently departed hockey coach George Gwozdecky.   Its likely that the banquet will be a celebration of the coach's remarkable career at DU, but one has to wonder why its taken until now to honor his many contributions to the university.

Also of interest will be those who won't be in attendance. Reportedly, the family that was the major sponsor of the banquet in past years declined to contribute after the firing of the coach was announced.

Two DU Recruits Listed In Final Draft Rankings

Two University of Denver recruits were listed among the Top 200 North American skaters Wednesday with the release of Central Scouting's Final Rankings.

Defenseman Will Butcher was listed at #87 after being ranked at #170 in the Mid-term Rankings.  That will likely project Butcher to be a 4th to 7th round selection at the NHL Draft this summer.

Incoming DU forward Trevor Moore was listed at #192.

Current DU forward Quinten Shore was listed but not assigned a ranking.

Former DU defenseman Dakota Mermis came in at #95.  Defenseman Gage Ausmus who reportedly decommitted from DU after Coach Gwozdecky was fired was listed at #148.
2013 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
D Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL) - 53 gms, 6 goals, 19 assists
F Brad Hawkinson (Lincoln Stars, USHL) - 57 gms, 12 goals, 6 assists
F Landon Smith (Chicago, USHL) - 36 games, 11 goals, 6 assists
F Connor Chatham (Omaha, USHL) - 63 games, 18 goals, 17 assists
F Ray Pigozzi (Chicago, USHL) - 53 games, 8 goals, 26 assists
D Will Butcher (U.S. Under-18) - 61 games, 10 goals, 22 assists
F Trevor Moore (Tri-City, USHL) 62 games, 20 goals, 43 assists
D Nick Neville (Texas, NAHL) 60 games, 7 goals, 28 assists

2014 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL) - 61 games, 8 goals, 16 assists
F Jared Fiegl (U.S. Under-17) 56 games, 8 goals, 9 assists
F Garrett Gamez (Tri-Cities, USHL) 46 games, 8 goals, 10 assists
F Cody DePourcq (Penticton, BCHL) - 54 games, 13 goal, 8 assists

2015 Recruiting Class Updated Stats 
F Dylan Gambrell (Dubuque, USHL) 58 games, 9 goal, 18 assists

2016 Recruiting Class Updated Stats
F Troy Terry (Thunderbirds, AAA) 41 games, 14 goals, 35 assists

Montgomery Has Tough Act To Follow

From: USCHO.com
by Matthew Semisch

Whenever an organization hires a new leader, it’s seen to a certain extent as a chance to start anew with fresh blood and equally fresh ideas.

That’s what Denver is banking on with Jim Montgomery, the school’s new head coach that was introduced to media members in the Colorado capital April 15.

Pioneers fans are weary following the controversial firing April 1 of George Gwozdecky, Denver’s head coach of 19 seasons who won back-to-back national championships in 2004 and 2005. As for the school’s acquisition of Montgomery, however, there’s short-term bad news and long-term good news [read entire article].

News & Notes From Around PioNation

(above) Members of the University of Denver Men's basketball team with Boone during the pre-game tailgate before the men's lacrosse game
The #1 ranked University of Denver men's lacrosse team lost to Fairfield in overtime on Saturday at Barton Stadium.  The Stags trailed 9-7 early in the fourth quarter before blanking DU the rest of the way.
The #11 ranked DU's women's lacrosse team won their 12th & 13th consecutive games over the weekend after defeating Cal 13-10 & St. Mary's 20-9.  The Pioneers will face Oregon in the regular season finale on Friday at Barton.
Jim Montgomery will not take over the helm as head coach of the University of Denver hockey program until Dubuque finishes its season in the USHL.  The season was extended on Saturday night when Dubuque defeated Muskegon in the first round of the USHL playoffs.
University of Denver recruit Will Butcher has scored a goal and recorded an assist in the first two games as the USA Under-18 team is competing in the World Under-18 Championships in Russia.

Westword Interviews DU's Original Boone

(above) In 1970 Winter Park built this 40' high Denver Boone out of ice & snow to welcome DU students to Winter Carnival
From: Westword
by Patricia Calhoun

Doug Hirsh
The University of Denver has been meeting with members of the DU community to discuss the "mascot development" process. Doug Hirsh [DU '70] has been following the process with particular interest: He was the first human Denver Boone, chosen to portray the caricature that Walt Disney donated to DU to serve as the embodiment of the Pioneer spirit. In 1968, when the school held a try-out for a student to play Boone, Hirsh showed up wearing a fake beard and a coonskin cap he'd found at his frat, the Beta House, and carrying a bullwhip. One crack of that whip, and he had the gig [read entire article].

DU's New Mascot Page Overwhelmed With Boonies

(above) The University of Denver Mascot Task Force created a Facebook Page
DU's Mascot Task Force created a Facebook Page to promote the creation of a new DU mascot.  Boone supporters have overwhelmed the site and the Pro-Boone comments are running 20-1.  

55 Comments have been left on the Mascot Page thus far.

Normally we would go to the trouble of reprinting the comments, but since DU has a recent record of "painting over history," we thought we should save them just in case DU's "deletes" the site.

And many, many more....

Holy Smokes! Woody Paige Mentions DU Hockey

This may not have been the way the University of Denver dreamed of getting a shout out from ESPN personality and Denver Post columnist Woody Paige, but you take what you can get.  Woody Paige wants Gwozdecky and Sacic running the Avs.

Chambers Blog Has Additional Coverage

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post has three Blog postings that cover events pertaining to the Press Conference yesterday and Coach Gwozdecky's future plans. 


Denver Post: DU AD Address Gwozdecky Firing

(above) Terry Frei finally has some answers but more questions need to be asked
by Terry Frei

So why was George Gwozdecky fired? That's the question University of Denver vice chancellor for athletics and recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes addressed only cursorily in a news release two weeks ago — before declining interview requests since.

She finally talked about it with me Monday, in a conversation after the news conference introducing Jim Montgomery as DU's eighth head hockey coach [read entire article].

Denver Post: Montgomery Can't Wait To Rebuild DU

(above) Post kicks off Monty Era by calling him "John" in photo caption
"It's been pretty crazy. At first there were a lot of questions, beginning with why? Everyone wants to know why he got fired, why this was happening. There was definitely a lot of upset players, including myself. If you look at all the success, you ask, 'Why did he get fired?' After the last couple days we've been embracing (Montgomery). The time has come, change is happening, and we have a new head coach."
-DU Forward Daniel Doremus
From: Denver Post
by Mike Chambers

Flanked by current players sitting beside him and more than two dozen alumni standing in the back, Jim Montgomery was introduced at the University of Denver's eighth hockey coach Thursday, succeeding the fired George Gwozdecky [read entire article].

Jim Montgomery Press Conference

(above) Trygve Myhren, Casey Gallager, Jim Montgomery, Chancellor Coombe & Peg Bradley-Doppes
Coombe kicks off press conference by saying virtually nothing.  Its not exactly DU's finest moment.

DU Athletic Director Peg Bradley-Doppes makes welcoming speech.
Peg: Confirms Montgomery will be coach.

Peg: DU is one of the best jobs in college hockey.

Peg: Praises Montgomery's past record.
Jim Montgomery introduced by Peg as new hockey coach.
Jim: Thanks everyone.

Jim: Praises Gwozdecky & Murray for building DU hockey [smart move].

Jim: Will build DU brand & DU hockey family.

Jim: Will do everything in his power to proudly represent PioNation.
Chambers & media ask questions.
Chambers: Asks questions about coaching staff, players & recruits.

Jim: Still head coach at Dubuque, so can't comments on any questions about current players, recruits or coaches per NCAA rules.

Chambers: Cites Gwozdecky's record and then rips DU leadership handling of Gwozdecky firing in a statement.

Jim: He reached out to Gwozdecky on Saturday and had great conversation. Praised Gwozdecky and DU. Handled question well.

Question: Will being an "outsider" make the transition difficult?

Jim: Plans to build on DU infrastructure and bring his experiences from Maine.

Chambers: What is more important. Graduating players or sending them to pro hockey?

Jim: Both. NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement holding college hockey hostage.

Chambers: Did Jim speak to Nick Shore? Comment on six players leaving early.

Jim: Vague answer.

News & Notes From Around PioNation

The University of Denver will hold a press conference today [Monday, April 15] at 11 AM MT to introduce Jim Montgomery as DU's eighth hockey coach. Log onto DenverPioneers.com. Things might get testy if the boys from the Denver Post show up.
University of Denver junior Nick Shore signed a three-year entry level contract with the Los Angeles Kings over the weekend. Shore, 20, was selected by the Kings in the third round (82nd overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Shore joins Jussi Olkinuora and Scott Mayfield as DU players who have left school early to sign professional contracts this Spring. 
University of Denver sophomore goalie Juho Olkinuora was named an AHCA/CCM All-American on Friday. Olkinuora enjoyed a breakout season as he posted a record of 13-6-5 while boasting a 2.35 GAA and a .927 save percentage.
The University of Denver is raising tuition 3.95 percent next year & freezing faculty salaries after an unexpected budget shortfall. DU is blaming lower-than-expected enrollment at the undergraduate level and in four graduate programs, but speculation is mismanagement in a variety of areas is causing the budget crunch.  The budget shortfall spread to the Athletic Department this Spring and explains why every area is under the knife.

DU #1 In Lacrosse Polls For First Time

Cameron Flint scored the winning goal in overtime, as #4 Denver held off #6 Loyola, 13-12, on Saturday afternoon in front of 3,285 fans at Ridley Athletic Complex. Flint finished the day with four goals for the Pioneers (10-2), and Eric Adamson and Wesley Berg both had two goals and two assists.

DU Receivs A Big Time Hoops Commitment

(above) Duke Douglas will play for DU next season
From: NOLA.com
by Andrew Lopez

Newman School [New Orleans private school famous for alum Peyton Manning] forward Duke Douglas, The Times-Picayune Small Schools Player of the Year, has committed to play at the University of Denver, the 6-foot-5 forward said on Saturday. 

Douglas averaged 21.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in leading the Greenies to the top overall seed in the Class 2A playoffs and was also named to the Class 2A All-State first team.

"It feels great," Douglas said. "I've put in a lot of hard work since my freshman year and its good to see that work finally paying off." 

 Douglas traveled to Denver on Thursday evening and officially received his offer on Saturday morning. He committed then before flying back to New Orleans. Denver finished last season 22-10 and shared the Western Athletic Conference regular season championship with Louisiana Tech [read entire article].

Ohio State Fires Hockey Coach

(above) Columbus Dispatch reporter Shawn Mitchell
Not too long ago it wasn't uncommon for no hockey coaches to be replaced during the offseason. According to several Twitter accounts, it appears that Ohio State has fired Mark Oseicki today.

Ohio State joins Maine and the University of Denver as high profile hockey schools who replaced coaches this offseason.

The leading candidate at Ohio State is rumored to be George Gwozdecky.

Denver Post Coverage of Montgomery Hiring

Avalanche center Paul Stastny, a former University of Denver star who helped lead the Pioneers to the 2005 NCAA title as a freshman, was hoping Seth Appert would succeed longtime DU coach George Gwozdecky. Stastny even campaigned for it, urging the school to go with the man who first brought him to Denver [read entire article].

For starters, let's welcome Jim Montgomery to what should be the coolest sports gig in town: University of Denver hockey coach.

Do not mess it up [read entire article].

DU To Announce Jim Montgomery As Coach

The University of Denver has scheduled a press conference on Monday, April 15 at 11 AM MT to introduce the DU’s eighth hockey coach.

The Denver Post has announced today that Jim Montgomery has been hired to succeed George Gwozdecky as the University of Denver's hockey coach, and the former All-American from Maine and NHL player will be introduced Monday, according to multiple sources [read entire article]. 

Earlier Saturday the Denver Post announced that former University of Denver assistant hockey coach Seth Appert signed an eight-year extension with Ressealear to effectively take his name out of list of finalists to coach at DU [read entire article]. 

BC Assistant Greg Brown To Interview At DU Today

(above) Greg Brown [center] will interview at DU today

Boston College associate head coach Greg Brown will interview for the open head coaching job at the University of Denver on Saturday.

Brown is in his ninth season as a member of the Eagles' coaching staff. He has helped guide BC to five NCAA Frozen Fours, including titles in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Brown was also a pretty good player in his own right -- a two-time U.S. Olympian, Brown played for the both the 1988 and 1992 U.S. Olympic men's ice hockey teams and a two-time Hobey Baker finalist in 1989 and 1990 (finishing as the runner up to Michigan State's Kip Miller).
Brown was recently named an assistant coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden.
By no means do I want to see Brown leave the Heights, but he has more than earned the right to interview for his own head coaching gig. Brown could also do a lot worse than Denver, consistently one of the top programs in the country. Denver, in turn, could also do a lot worse than hiring Greg Brown. Sometimes you just have to cut your teeth coaching at lesser programs before returning to your alma mater to succeed Coach York behind the Eagles' bench.

Sign Petition To Bring Denver Boone Back To DU

The "I Support Boone" Facebook Page has started a petition to bring Denver Boone back as the official mascot of the University of Denver.  Their goal is to get 2,000 online signatures and they already have 414 as of Friday afternoon.

Considering DU has an undergraduate enrollment of just over 5,000 students, 2,000 signatures would represent a sizable portion of the DU community.

Jim Montgomery Interviews At Denver Today

Jim Montgomery
by Larry Mahoney

Jim Montgomery was in an airport on Thursday. He wasn’t with his Dubuque Fighting Saints.

The former University of Maine All-American and captain of the 1992-93 NCAA championship team, who is the coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League team, was headed for a job interview.

And it wasn’t with his alma mater.

Montgomery wouldn’t divulge his destination, but Mike Chambers of the Denver Post confirmed it was at the University of Denver [read entire article].

Seth Appert Faces Mile High Dilemma

(above) Seth Appert is a finalist for the DU ice hockey coaching position
by Ed Weaver

Seth Appert has long considered the head hockey coaching position at the University of Denver a “dream job.” Same could be said about the same position at Ferris State, Appert’s alma mater, it should be added.

Appert, though, interviewed for the open job at Denver earlier this week.

Being named head coach at Denver to replace his mentor, George Gwozdecky, after Gwozdecky retired is one thing. Replacing Gwozdecky after he was summarily fired by Denver’s athletic director Peg Bradley-Doppes could be quite another matter [read entire article].

Denver Post: Two New Coaching Finalists Revealed

by Mike Chambers

The University of Denver has tentative plans to hire a new hockey coach over the weekend and make the announcement early next week, a school source familiar with the search said Thursday.

The finalists to succeed George Gwozdecky are Seth Appert, a former DU assistant under Gwozdecky and the current head coach at Rensselear; Derek Lalonde, who succeeded Appert at DU before becoming the head coach of the Green Bay Gamblers of the U.S. Hockey League (junior-A amateur); Jim Montgomery, a former Maine star and NHL player who is head coach and general manager of the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints; and Boston College associate head coach Greg Brown [read entire article].

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].

"Denver Boone For DU Mascot" Facebook Page

Yesterday a University of Denver student started Denver Boone for Mascot Page.  We encourage PioNation supporters to "Like" this Page, make comments on this Page, forward the link to the Page via Twitter, Facebook and social media.

Behind The Numbers

Facebook: Support Boone For Mascot  304 645 Likes

Petition: Bring Back Boone As Mascot 414 490 Signatures

Video: Hitler Selects New Pioneer Mascot  1,903 3,023 Views

Facebook: Denver Boone Page  3,795 3,799 Likes

Twitter: Scott Mayfield To Make Pro Debut Tonight

Denver Post: Don Granato Candidate For Coach

Don Granato
by Mike Chambers

Former Avalanche coach Tony Granato would like to set the record straight. The current Pittsburgh Penguins assistant is not interested in the vacant University of Denver head hockey coaching position, but he said Monday night his younger brother Don is a candidate. 

Don Granato, 45, is in his second year with the U.S. National Development Program (USNDP), having coached the 18-under team this season, and DU has interest in him, his older brother said in a telephone conversation [read entire article].

News & Notes From Around PioNation

(above) Terry Frei is not impressed with DU's handling of the Coach Gwodecky firing
According to a Twitter from Andrew Weiss of Future Considerations, "In wake of Coach Gwozdecky’s departure, NTDP U18’s Gage Ausmus has decommitted from the University of Denver."
College Hockey News reprinted an article that first appeared in LetsGoDU asking questions about the firing of University of Denver hockey coach George Gwozdecky.  The role of the Board of Trustees in this firing is critical on many levels.  Certainly far more important than the excuses trumpeted by the Athletic Department about the firing.
Terry Frei of the Denver Post penned a commentary on the firing of George Gwoxdecky calling DU "arrogant" for not answering questions about the firing.
The DU women's lacrosse team defeated longtime nemesis #10 Stanford 14-10 and UC Davis 13-11 this past weekend.  This may be shaping up as a special season for the Pioneers who are 13-1-0 so far this season.
The University of Denver club rugby team won the Pacific West Championships this past weekend after defeating Cal Maritime Academy 21-17 & Occidental College 31-27.  DU Rugby will now advance to the Final Four.

Jussi Olkinuora Signs With Winnipeg Jets

According to TSN the Winnipeg Jets signed University of Denver goaltender Juho Olkinuora to a free agent contract yesterday.  Olkinuora's unlikely rise from walk-on Free Agent to signing a professional contract within 20 months is the stuff of legends.

In January 2012, Coach George Gwozdecky told the Denver Post that finding Olkinuora was one of the greatest recruiting finds in his career.

"To pick up a goaltender of the quality that Jussi Olkinuora has given us is maybe the best recruiting, and evaluation, and identification, there was throughout all of last year and over a quite a few years," DU coach George Gwozdecky said. "That was an incredible find by Steve Miller and Derek Lalonde. Jussi has been tremendous for us."

Olkinuora's USHL statistics in Sioux Falls were unremarkable, but he had secured the starting goaltender job by the time the playoffs rolled around. Despite that, Olkinuora did not receive much interest from other colleges after the 2010-11 season.  He returned home to Finland to look a spot in the Finnish professional league.

When the University of Denver found out in the summer of 2011 that Sam Brittain's knee injury was far more serious than originally thought and would miss at least the first half of the 2011-12 season,  DU coaches frantically hit the phones.  Compounding the problem, DU's other goaltender Adam Murray had a history of groin injuries, the Pioneers were in a bind.

And perhaps the biggest issue.  DU had no scholarship money to offer Olkinoura.  Olkinoura would have to apply for student loans to cover his tuition and housing bills.

Last season, Olkinuora had beaten out Adam Murray for most of the starts and was splitting time with Brittain after he returned from the knee injury.

This season after the team instituted a three way goaltender competition, Olkinuora was clearly the leader of the pack and received almost all of the prime starts throughout the season.

Lacrosse: Denver 15 - Marquette 4 FINAL

The #3 ranked University of Denver men’s lacrosse team defeated Marquette 15-4 in front of a crowd of 2,029 Friday evening at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. The win brings the Pioneers to 8-2 on the season, while Marquette falls to 2-6.

Eric Law scored four goals to tally his 10th career hat-trick. He now has 22 goals on the season. Wesley Berg recorded two goals, bringing his tally to 31 on the season. He also added an assist [read entire article].

Westword Reader Comments Support Boone

Mayfield Signs Contract With The N.Y. Islanders

(above) Scott Mayfield will play in the AHL
The New York Islanders announced today that University of Denver defenseman Scott Mayfield has agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level deal.

Mayfield will join the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League on an Amateur Tryout Contract. Mayfield, 20, scored 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) and recorded 114 penalty minutes with a plus-8 rating this season at DU.

The Islanders selected Mayfield in the second round (34th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.

Westword Writes Another Article About Boone

(above) For the second time this week Westword takes aim at DU's controversial mascot search, this time focusing on the Mascot Task Force and the process they are using to select a new mascot
From: Westword
by Patricia Calhoun

Is the University of Denver's hunt for a new mascot turning into a Boone-doggle? That's what some alumni are wondering after attending a Thursday focus group, part of a campus-wide process to calm controversy and select a new mascot. Denver Boone, a coonskin cap-wearing caricature, was adopted as the image of the DU Pioneers back in 1968; although he was banished three decades later,  Chancellor Robert Coombe agreed in 2008 that Boone could return in an unofficial capacity. But now that era is over.

And this time, it sounds like there's no possibility of Boone, who just won our Readers' choice for Best Mascot, will be coming back [read entire article].

Gwozdecky Firing Been In The Works For Awhile

(above) This rumor has been gaining steam for three days, has now emerged online
University of Denver Athletic Director Peg Bradley-Doppes will not be speaking to the media today or any day in the foreseeable future about the firing of head hockey coach George Gwozdecky.  In some quarters that may be seen as a sign of weakness on the part of the Athletic Department and the university.

The media coverage of the firing has been overwhelmingly negative and its probable that facing a hostile press corps would delve into questions the university is unwilling to answer.

There's also a possibility that DU could be afraid of potential litigation regarding this matter and anything said publicly or privately could be brought up later.  Did the university follow all their internal protocols when firing a university employee?  Did the university's Board of Trustees follow their own By-laws when agreeing to buy out the contract?  Did the Board's Athletic Affairs Committee act within their own purview when making this decision?  Were any federal or state laws violated when buying out the Gwozdecky contract?

The first rumbles of discontent with Gwozdecky were detected in mid-March.  The wheels may have been in motion long before, but by mid-March DU was seriously looking at alternatives.  Several high level donors where reportedly dissatisfied with the coach.  

Onlines rumors out of Boston this week suggest that DU made advances towards Boston University's new hockey coach David Quinn.  Since Quinn was hired on March 26th, DU's approaches would have had to be before that date.  And since we heard about the discontent with Gwozdecky in mid-March, that falls within the timeline.

Donors to the Athletic Department have been told this week that former Chancellor Dan Ritchie will be playing a prominent in the search for a new hockey coach.  That might come as a surprise to DU alums and staffers, but Ritchie has been working behind the scenes at DU recently.  Alumni have been informed of $30 million donation by Ritchie to fund the new Engineering School.  Did Ritchie also play a major role in the firing of Gwozdecky?

The Athletic Department reached out to donors and fans this week and laid out a three pronged story for the firing. 
  •  Performance - NCAA early exits
  •  Loyalty - Soliciting employment elsewhere
  •  Contract - Negotiating for a higher salary
While these excuses have been ripped to shreads by the media, the Quinn rumors suggest that Gwozdecky would of been fired no matter how DU had fared in the NCAA playoffs this season.  A DU staffer confirmed yesterday that beating New Hampshire or anyone else last weekend likely would not have saved Gwozdecky's job.

While DU's Athletic Director takes the heat, questions that could and should be answered by the University of Denver's Board of Trustees will remain hidden.

DU Moves Into Denver Post's Editorial Outhouse

(above) DU moved from the sports pages to the Denver Post's editorial page
University of Denver vice chancellor for athletics and recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes may have had ample reason to fire hockey coach George Gwozdecky. But DU fans and supporters won't know until she steps forward to explain her decision.

Until then, we're left scratching our heads at his unceremonious dumping [read entire article].

Channel 9 Newscasters Talk About Gwozdecky

(above) Channel 9 Newscasters discuss Gwozdecky firing

Westword: Feature Article About Killing Boone

(above) Will Chancellor Coombe stand trial for murdering Denver Boone?
From: Westword
by Patricia Calhoun

The University of Denver was founded in 1864, only five years after Denver got its start and the same year a flood threatened to wipe the tiny town off the map. But DU has always had a fighting spirit — and today, both students and alumni are fighting mad over Boone, the once-official, now-very-unofficial image representing the Pioneers.

At this point, the only mascot the DU community might agree on would be a giant, foil-wrapped burrito with legs — inspired by Steve Ells, the DU alum who was quite the fast-casual pioneer when he opened the first Chipotle in an old Dolly Madison store down the street from DU in July 1993. Today that chain has more than a thousand locations, with new ones opening all the time — not only in this country, but across Europe. And these days, the only thing growing faster than the Chipotle empire is the controversy over Boone [read entire article].

Mile High Sports Questions Firing Of Gwozdecky

by D-Mac

So, just to be clear, Mike Rice – the basketball throwing, physically abusing, homophobic bullying moron who coaches the mighty Rutgers Scarlet Knights men’s basketball team – was suspended for three games and fined $50K for his outrageously erratic behavior, but not fired despite a three-year record at Rutgers of 44-51 (16-38) with no NCAA tournament appearances, correct?

And just so I have this right, George Gwozdecky – the DU men’s hockey coach who has been with the program 19 years, won back-to-back national championships in 2004 and ’05, had an overall record of 443-267-64, and led his team into the NCAA tournament again this year – was fired because… He was fired because… What? Why? [read entire article]

College Hockey News: Rocky Mountain Low

From: College Hockey News
by Adam Wodon

George Gwozdecky's firing stunned me and most everyone else. Now, in the aftermath, we're only left to ask "Why?"

Particularly in light of the class Gwozdecky showed during his good-bye press conference Tuesday (one in which Denver officials decided not to attend), it's hard to understand. Could there be a better ambassador for a college program? One who wins 20 games every year, has two national championships under his belt, and runs a tight, clean program?

You can count those on one hand.

Yet here we are [read entire article].

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]

Clarion: Young Alum Responds To Coombe's Email

2009 University of Denver alumnus Nick Girardi wrote a letter to the Clarion after receiving Chancellor Coombe's email on March 9, 2013. Coombe wrote that DU was looking for "a new mascot that the entire DU community can get behind and embrace."

In his opinion piece in the Clarion, Girardi called out DU's Undergraduate Student Government and Chancellor Coombe.

Denver Post Video: Gwozdecky Press Conference

From: Denver Post
by Terry Frei

As George Gwozdecky was about to meet with University of Denver vice chancellor for athletics and recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes on Monday morning, the veteran hockey coach expected an unsurprising postseason discussion [read entire article].

Gwozdecky's Press Conference Touches Emotions

(above) It was a somber Press Conference at the Ritchie Center today
photo credit: @denco83
Eyewitnesses compared George Gwozdecky's press conference today to a funeral. Coach Gwozdecky stood there and it was stone silence.  He spoke for 25 minutes and took the high road which was his modus operandi for 19 season at DU.
Local writers, administrators, players from the Sixties to the present, his entire coaching staff and wives attended. One attendee looked around the room "didn't see a dry eye."  Someone sitting near George's wife Bonnie, who was beloved by all at DU, could hear her sob occasionally.

In his stint at the podium, Gwozdecky often became red-eyed and emotional, most notably when talking about players, his current and former assistants, university officials, his late parents and his wife and daughter. He thanked many members of the media.

Coach mentioned that it was his intention to finish his career at the University of Denver.  He was notified on Monday during a meeting with Athletic Director Peg Bradley-Doppes that his contract was being terminated.

Denver Post Condemns Gwozdecky Firing

by Adrian Dater

Like a lot of people probably, I thought the initial word that the University of Denver fired hockey coach George Gwozdecky Monday was an April Fool's joke.

I got the word while driving a back road in New Hampshire during a brief holiday, on a tweet that I thought was a prank. Ha ha, DU fired the guy who has guided the team to an NCAA current record 12 consecutive 20-win seasons, with two national championships in the past nine years. Good one!
When the tweets kept coming, though, followed by The Denver Post story and then the official release from the DU athletic office, it was tough to keep the eyes on the road for a few seconds [read entire article].

Twitter: PioNation Stands Up For Gwozdecky