2013-14 DU Hockey Roster

DU Mascot Committee Unveils New Jackalope

(above) The University of Denver's new Jackalope mascot
Not deterred by a recent overwhelming rejection of its three mascot candidates in an online survey of 75,000 alumni, students, parents, faculty, administrators and season ticket holders, Chancellor Robert Coombe unveiled the latest DU mascot candidate on Monday evening.  

The new Red-Vested Jackalope will be nicknamed "Mile-High Cyrus."

Sure to be popular with students aged 18-22, Mile-High Cyrus offers many advantages over Denver Boone.

Eagle Mascot Flies Into Window At ORU

To those dingbats in the DU administration that wanted an animal to represent the Pioneers ... Animal mascots present their own set of problems.
"Today was "School Spirit Day" at Oral Roberts University. Students were encouraged to wear their ORU T-shirts and there was an actual eagle set free inside the chapel service. It evidently made a few laps around above the students' heads, but then, things went wrong. The poor bird must have thought that the glass was the clear blue sky and he went for it. Of course, he hit hard, to the dismay and amusement of the student body."
See video in link below:

Tweets From Around PioNation

Denver Post: Gwozdecky's TV Career Sidetracked

From: Denver Post
by Terry Frei

Until last month, George Gwozdecky was planning to work as a college game television analyst for several networks during the 2013-14 hockey season. The former University of Denver coach had accepted that he wasn't going to land a high-profile head coaching job this year, and that television would be his sabbatical in the wake of his controversial April firing after 19 seasons with the Pioneers.

"I was thinking it would give me an opportunity to stay in the game, stay in the environment," Gwozdecky said recently over lunch in Denver. "That was the plan — to see what jobs opened up in the spring."

Then Jon Cooper, who took over as the head coach of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning on March 24, asked Gwozdecky if he was interested in talking about joining the Lightning as an assistant [read entire article].

Radio Host Mike Rosen Rips DU In Boone Article

(above) DU Alum Mike Rosen spoke out of the recent mascot search committee debacle
“Opposition to Denver Boone was self-indulgent, hypersensitive political correctness from its inception. Denver Boone is fun and harmless. The problem isn’t with the mascot, it’s with the sanctimonious crybabies that have made this an issue. … As an alum, I’m disappointed.”
-Mike Rosen, radio talk show host [850 AM-KOA] and DU MBA-Business

National Review Online Weighs In On Boone

The National Review Online gave their spin on the "Boone Debacle" and while the facts in the story might not ring 100% true, the reader comments are good for a laugh.

Needless to say the Ivory Tower Types over at the corner of University & Evans won't be too pleased to see this coverage.

Might be a good idea for several of the DU staffers who created this debacle to dust off the old resume.

DU & Root Sports Reach TV Agreement

The University of Denver Athletic Department and ROOT SPORTS™ announced a new multi-year agreement that will keep the network the broadcast home for Pioneer hockey, men’s and women’s basketball. The new agreement, brokered via Denver Sports Properties, will initiate the 13th consecutive year, and 20th season overall, that the network will be the official regional TV partner with DU.

“This new agreement is certainly recognition of the strong partnership that the University has forged with ROOT SPORTS for two decades,” said DU Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes. “Our student-athletes take great pride in wearing the Denver brand across their chest, and having a regional provider with the reach of ROOT SPORTS allows our alumni, parents and friends of the University to see first-hand the excellent representatives of Pioneer athletics.”

The University of Denver Athletics program is one of the best in the nation at broad-based athletic and academic success. The Pioneers also reclaimed the top spot among NCAA Division I non-football schools for the 2012/13 season by earning its record fifth Learfield Sports I-AAA Directors' Cup over the last six years.

“As the exclusive sponsorship negotiator for the Division of Athletics and Recreation, our goal is to bring forth partners that truly value their association with the University of Denver,” said Denver Sports Properties General Manager Brad Ferrell. “The ROOT SPORTS partnership was one that we worked very hard to continue because of the long-standing relationship that has benefited both entities.”

ROOT SPORTS will announce its DU telecast schedule at a later date.

ROOT SPORTS™ is the home of the Colorado Rockies, Utah Jazz, Mountain West Conference, Big Sky Conference and University of Denver. The network reaches 2.5 million households across nine states and delivers more than 350 live events each year – all of which are available in high definition. 

ROOT SPORTS™ regional sports networks are operated by DIRECTV Sports Networks LLC in the Rocky Mountain, Northwest, and Pittsburgh regions.

DU Alum Calls For Survey Results

Gwozdecky Opens Up About DU In Tampa

From: Tampa Bay Times
by Damian Cristadero

New Lightning assistant George Gwozdecky said he did not expect to be fired in April by the University of Denver. And while he said, "There will always be some wounds," he added, "I've got a lot more positive feelings about our years there and the people that I've worked with and the great players that I've worked with rather than with one person's decision."

Gwozdecky, 60, was fired after 19 seasons with the Pioneers and national championships in 2004 and '05. He won at least 20 games in his final 12 seasons, but the team exited in the first round of the NCAA playoffs in five of the past six seasons.

"The consistency of success I was proud of," Gwozdecky said. "That's a lot of work by our assistant coaches and staff and players. So, yeah, (being fired) kind of caught me off guard."

Gwozdecky was in Tampa Tuesday and spoke on many topics.

On the shock of being fired by Denver: My better half, she's still on the war path. I say that a little bit sarcastically because once we decided -- once Jon and Steve offered us the opportunity and we decided this is what we wanted to do -- she was all in. But with her, and I think with me, there will always be some wounds. But we've got 19 years of great memories. I think we did things the right way. We had success. But like in any part of life, whether it's the National Hockey League or college hockey, sometimes things just don't work out. The bosses have their prerogative to make decisions based on the direction they wanted to go. 

On if he saw the split coming: No. I had been assured that the contract was going to get done.

On if Denver was as forthcoming as it should have been: Oh, I don't know. I've learned that sometimes you take things for granted. Hockey at DU, we weren't high maintenance. We just kind of did our job and every year it's, 'Okay, hockey is going to the national tournament. They've won 20, 22, 25, 26 games and they're selling out every game. So, that's kind of the golden goose. We don't worry about them.' ... The focus of concentration was on other sports. You didn't really have to worry about men's hockey. I wish I could give a better answer or give you a better understanding, but I really don't have one.

On any lingering hard feelings: I don't think you ever get over being jilted, whether it's your first high school dance and you ask the pretty girl in the corner and she says 'get lost.' That's kind of tough to take, the rejection. But I've got a lot more positive feelings about our years there and the people that I've worked with and the great players that I've worked with rather than with one person's decision [read entire article].

DU's Mascot Survey Ends In Failure

From: Denver Post
Re: Caitlin Swieca

After a months-long controversy surrounding the University of Denver's mascot, the DU Pioneers community has spoken and said it would prefer to have no mascot at all. 

The news came as DU's Mascot Steering Committee announced the findings of its research on Friday and recommended that none of the considered mascots move forward as they are currently designed.

A survey containing three mascot options— an elk, a jackalope and a mountaineer — was sent to DU students and alumni in July, asking them to evaluate the concepts against 20 attributes of the DU community.

More than 8,000 community members participated in the survey, more than three times the expected response. The release by the committee said that nearly 70 percent of respondents were either receptive or neutral to moving forward with a new mascot, but were not aligned on what that mascot should be.
The mountain explorer and elk options performed the best, but neither gained a consensus.

The controversy began in March, when chancellor Robert Coombe announced that Denver Boone, the school's official mascot until 1998, would not be considered by the committee. In a letter to students and alumni, Coombe said that Boone "did not reflect the growing diversity of the DU community."

The concepts were created after the committee conducted over 45 focus groups, 15 open forums and a number of one-on-one interviews with alumni, students and faculty. The mascot committee had 76 members — more than the Colorado state Senate, state House or the final Broncos roster.

DU has not had an official mascot since the 2007-08 season.