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Thread: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by omahasioux1 View Post
    Watched the 36 minute clip on you tube. Complete class act.
    I watched it "live" with my wife at home. It got so emotional that at one point I actually struggled to hold back the tears. I guess after going to the games for so many years his departure means more to me than I realized. And you are so right, omahasioux1, Lucia is a "complete class act". Only it's not an act at all, he's as genuine as a coach can be.

    Don't take any of this to mean that I didn't think a change was needed. It just took me longer than most to come to this conclusion. In a weird sort of way I was happy to hear Coach Lucia say that in the past couple of months he came to understand that it was time for him to move on. I wish him nothing but the best.
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    I watched it "live" with my wife at home. It got so emotional that at one point I actually struggled to hold back the tears. I guess after going to the games for so many years his departure means more to me than I realized. And you are so right, omahasioux1, Lucia is a "complete class act". Only it's not an act at all, he's as genuine as a coach can be.

    Don't take any of this to mean that I didn't think a change was needed. It just took me longer than most to come to this conclusion. In a weird sort of way I was happy to hear Coach Lucia say that in the past couple of months he came to understand that it was time for him to move on. I wish him nothing but the best.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^

    It took until this year to fully admit there needed to be a change. It does NOT detract from tDon as a coach. No way. Fresh air injected into an organization is needed at times, probably more often in sports where you have a constant rotation of personnel (players). This is one of those times.
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by First Time, Long Time View Post
    It may be a no brainer to you...it's not for others. I know plenty of coaches who are extremely happy being in the smaller environment for less money yes but also a lot less BS.
    So you are good enough friends with multiple D1 Hockey coaches that you have beers while they talk about their aspirations and dreams, and what is important in their lives? Lots of people were pretty sure this was exactly how Mel felt about Tech too, up until the news broke he was moving to UMi.

    We don't know what an individual coach is really thinking, so to give absolutes on what they will decide is foolish.

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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipsy McStagger View Post
    I would love to hear the argument that the Gopher hockey job is the to position in NCAA hockey.
    Really? You honestly think hockey experts wouldn't agree? There are other choices that are clearly heads above that position? Name them. (And note, I said 'arguably' - which maybe you don't understand isn't a definitive statement, but suggests it is one of the top few programs and arguments could be made that it is THE top one, depending on what ranking criteria you weight the highest.)

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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by Koho View Post
    Really? You honestly think hockey experts wouldn't agree? There are other choices that are clearly heads above that position? Name them. (And note, I said 'arguably' - which maybe you don't understand isn't a definitive statement, but suggests it is one of the top few programs and arguments could be made that it is THE top one, depending on what ranking criteria you weight the highest.)
    I suspect some would argue that either the Michigan or BC positions might be more attractive. Both are with Minnesota among the blue bloods of college hockey. Both are located in prime recruiting areas and are going to win many more recruiting battles than they lose, like Minnesota, just because of who they are and where they play.

    But there has to be a lot less alumni pressure on the hockey coaches at Michigan or BC than there is at Minnesota. I'm not sure most of the Michigan and BC alumni even know they have a hockey program.
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by SJHovey View Post
    I suspect some would argue that either the Michigan or BC positions might be more attractive. Both are with Minnesota among the blue bloods of college hockey. Both are located in prime recruiting areas and are going to win many more recruiting battles than they lose, like Minnesota, just because of who they are and where they play.
    I'm a "little" biased but I would throw BU in there. We have five national championships. BC has been more "dominant" recently (since 2000) but they are both still top-flight programs. The BU facilities are first-rate and relatively new. Construction and campus expansion is booming and the academic reputation is growing. Also, given that hockey is the #1 sport at BU (no football team anymore), it is squarely at the top of the list as far as recognition and visibility go.

    Quote Originally Posted by SJHovey View Post
    But there has to be a lot less alumni pressure on the hockey coaches at Michigan or BC than there is at Minnesota. I'm not sure most of the Michigan and BC alumni even know they have a hockey program.
    Not a BC alum (obviously) but I'm guessing they would vehemently disagree with you. And I KNOW there is a lot of pressure with the BU position. OK, I get it that it's not the entire STATE like at Minnesota, but alumni are alumni...everywhere.

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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by Koho View Post
    Really? You honestly think hockey experts wouldn't agree? There are other choices that are clearly heads above that position? Name them. (And note, I said 'arguably' - which maybe you don't understand isn't a definitive statement, but suggests it is one of the top few programs and arguments could be made that it is THE top one, depending on what ranking criteria you weight the highest.)
    That's clearly what I am saying. I don't agree. You made the statement, dopey. I asked you to defend your statement and make the argument that it is the top job.

    I understand definitions. You said arguably it is the top job. So what ranking criteria are the Gophers first in, aside from blowhard fans?
    Quote Originally Posted by SJHovey View Post
    Pretty sure this post, made on January 3, 2016, when UNO was 14-3-1 and #2 in the pairwise, will go down in USCHO lore as The Curse of Tipsy McStagger.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chickod View Post
    I'm a "little" biased but I would throw BU in there. We have five national championships. BC has been more "dominant" recently (since 2000) but they are both still top-flight programs. The BU facilities are first-rate and relatively new. Construction and campus expansion is booming and the academic reputation is growing. Also, given that hockey is the #1 sport at BU (no football team anymore), it is squarely at the top of the list as far as recognition and visibility go.



    Not a BC alum (obviously) but I'm guessing they would vehemently disagree with you. And I KNOW there is a lot of pressure with the BU position. OK, I get it that it's not the entire STATE like at Minnesota, but alumni are alumni...everywhere.
    The alumni pressure at Minnesota is crazy and over-the-top, which I am not sure is 100% a good thing.

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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by mnstate0fhockey View Post
    I have ZERO idea how that relates to what I said.

    CC was a better team when Lucia left to take the job at Minnesota. It has to do with potential.

    I love the Twins, but if I were coaching them and the NYY or Dodgers (with their considerably higher resources) offered me more money to coach them, I'd take the offer in a heartbeat.

    Loose analogy, I know, but I think the money and resources to win are big factors.
    Not a direct reply to you per se...

    I would love to think Motzko would never leave given his deep roots at SCSU but there is also no denying the U job is a **** attractive position. Yes, it comes with many landmines and obstacles but also tons of upside and prestige. It will all come down to what he wants out of his career. Does he feel the need for another/different challenge? Does the money matter much at this point?

    I won't pretend to have the first clue what Motzko or the U are thinking....but truth is I shudder at the idea of him leaving Cloud and winning a National Championship at the U. That would $%*@ hurt. Not as much as losing to effn Ferris State but awfully close!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipsy McStagger View Post
    That's clearly what I am saying. I don't agree. You made the statement, dopey. I asked you to defend your statement and make the argument that it is the top job.

    I understand definitions. You said arguably it is the top job. So what ranking criteria are the Gophers first in, aside from blowhard fans?
    lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty Bottles View Post
    Not a direct reply to you per se...

    I would love to think Motzko would never leave given his deep roots at SCSU but there is also no denying the U job is a **** attractive position. Yes, it comes with many landmines and obstacles but also tons of upside and prestige. It will all come down to what he wants out of his career. Does he feel the need for another/different challenge? Does the money matter much at this point?

    I won't pretend to have the first clue what Motzko or the U are thinking....but truth is I shudder at the idea of him leaving Cloud and winning a National Championship at the U. That would $%*@ hurt. Not as much as losing to effn Ferris State but awfully close!
    Yeah, I really have no idea either. I can totally see it going either way if he is offered the job. I do think that SCSU will be completely fine either way. It's a great program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
    The Montreal Canadiens basically require that their coach can speak french. Just as dumb as requiring a coach to be an alum. Lucia mentioned how in the entire history of Gopher hockey they had three titles before him. He won 2 himself, so 40% in a 19 year period. Hiring a non alum seemed to work out pretty well. Just hire the best coach you can.
    Bingo. I think the connection to the state of Minnesota is far more important than being an alum, and that is so that they have a good relationship with local coaching and an understanding of the local hockey culture for recruiting. Even that isn't a necessity IMO if the coach is good enough. I really could care less if the next coach is an alum or if some alums get upset if he's not.

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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Iíve been one thinking Luciaís days are numbered for the past few seasons and have been worried for SCSU. Motzko may have SCSU roots but he would be the ideal hire with all his national junior team connections. With St. Cloudís financial difficulties, Iím sure the U could make an offer SCSU could just come nowhere to matching.
    Not as concerned about Sandelin-if I were worried about him going anywhere else itíd be UND. He doesnít like the Gophers and gets his team primed to beat them. Only concern is Shannon Miller really fíd the school leaving them in an even harder place so they couldnít counter an offer either but I still think Motzko is 10x more likely. Sandelin built up UMDís program and it took a while so I just donít see him being as much of a recipe for instant success for Gophers.
    Really hoping it goes Guentzel, Potulny or some other long shot. GWOZ!!! Think theyíre looking for younger than Gwoz and Blais? I suppose Gwoz coaching HS hockey in Colorado isnít exactly making him a recruiting tool. Guentzel/Blais could be a combo though but Blais may not last long. Iím surprised heís still coaching thought he wantded to retire but maybe that was just his Minnesotan excuse to leave UNO
    Last edited by UMD21; 03-22-2018 at 10:32 AM.

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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    No way on Blais. He's not even going to be considered.
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    How much of an influence will Don have in saying who replaces him? He's already said publicly that he thinks Guentzel would make a great head coach and that he's familiar with it there. The fact that he's a alumni and has public support from Don makes me think he's already been the chosen one.

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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    For me, it's a double edge sword for Guentzel. Either he has a lot of experience leading a program as Associate Head Coach with the Gophers or he didn't have much say as Associate Head Coach.

    If he has the experience, you could argue that he is part of the needed change to shake the program up. If the team had been much stronger defensively recently, it would be easier to seperate himself.

    If he wasn't given much control under Lucia, you could argue that he doesn't have the level of head coaching experience to lead a program of this caliber. At least my expectation would be more head coaching experience.

    I like Guentzel a lot as a coach and a person. I am just not as convinced as others that he is the prohibitive favorite that some think. I don't think Lucia is the only reason things got stale.
    Last edited by mnstate0fhockey; 03-22-2018 at 11:09 AM.

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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by UMD21 View Post
    I’ve been one thinking Lucia’s days are numbered for the past few seasons and have been worried for SCSU. Motzko may have SCSU roots but he would be the ideal hire with all his national junior team connections. With St. Cloud’s financial difficulties, I’m sure the U could make an offer SCSU could just come nowhere to matching.
    Not as concerned about Sandelin-if I were worried about him going anywhere else it’d be UND. He doesn’t like the Gophers and gets his team primed to beat them. Only concern is Shannon Miller really f’d the school leaving them in an even harder place so they couldn’t counter an offer either but I still think Motzko is 10x more likely. Sandelin built up UMD’s program and it took a while so I just don’t see him being as much of a recipe for instant success for Gophers.
    Really hoping it goes Guentzel, Potulny or some other long shot. GWOZ!!! Think they’re looking for younger than Gwoz and Blais? I suppose Gwoz coaching HS hockey in Colorado isn’t exactly making him a recruiting tool. Guentzel/Blais could be a combo though but Blais may not last long. I’m surprised he’s still coaching thought he wantded to retire but maybe that was just his Minnesotan excuse to leave UNO
    Whatever financial difficulties the school may or may not have, they aren't going to be fixed by letting the coach of the only revenue generating sport walk out the door. The U of M can definitely offer Motzko a lot more, but that is unrelated to the SCSU's budget shortfall.

    Let's go over the pros and cons of Motzko taking the Gopher job.

    Pros
    More money (though we don't know how much more)
    Better tradition
    Better facilities

    Cons
    SCSU is Motzko's alma mater
    SCSU is Motzko's dream job (he said this after being asked about the U of M job on Tuesday, while recounting the story of his "job interview" with Lucia)
    Motzko would likely have to move his family, while he has kids in high school
    SCSU will likely have a better team next year than the Gophers
    The NCHC has, to this point, been a better conference than the B1G
    Motzko would have to put up with Gopher alumni, who Lucia intimated have been an obstacle to success at the U of M

    I don't think any of these are debatable. Feel free to add on unless you are JDubbs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipsy McStagger View Post
    Whatever financial difficulties the school may or may not have, they aren't going to be fixed by letting the coach of the only revenue generating sport walk out the door. The U of M can definitely offer Motzko a lot more, but that is unrelated to the SCSU's budget shortfall.

    Let's go over the pros and cons of Motzko taking the Gopher job.

    Pros
    More money (though we don't know how much more)
    Better tradition
    Better facilities

    Cons
    SCSU is Motzko's alma mater
    SCSU is Motzko's dream job (he said this after being asked about the U of M job on Tuesday, while recounting the story of his "job interview" with Lucia)
    Motzko would likely have to move his family, while he has kids in high school
    SCSU will likely have a better team next year than the Gophers
    The NCHC has, to this point, been a better conference than the B1G
    Motzko would have to put up with Gopher alumni, who Lucia intimated have been an obstacle to success at the U of M

    I don't think any of these are debatable. Feel free to add on unless you are JDubbs.
    Up until your last sentence you had a pretty darn good post going. I don't think the alums are as big of an issue as you do, and I also think you left off a few positives like easier recruiting, better facilities, generally more resources, etc....

    Hard to argue with most of your negatives though. Up until this year the NCHC has been a better conference (i am skeptical that will be the case long-term), and the issue with the alums isn't nothing. Your other negatives are spot on.

    Will be a tough choice for Motzko if offered, which is why I think $$ will be thd biggest factor. Minnesota will have to pay him well to draw him away from his alma mater.

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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    I watched it "live" with my wife at home. It got so emotional that at one point I actually struggled to hold back the tears. I guess after going to the games for so many years his departure means more to me than I realized. And you are so right, omahasioux1, Lucia is a "complete class act". Only it's not an act at all, he's as genuine as a coach can be.

    Don't take any of this to mean that I didn't think a change was needed. It just took me longer than most to come to this conclusion. In a weird sort of way I was happy to hear Coach Lucia say that in the past couple of months he came to understand that it was time for him to move on. I wish him nothing but the best.
    It was hard for me to watch as well. I did get a little teary a couple times.

    By the end he seemed at peace with his decision and I'm happy for him and for the program to get a fresh start.
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by UMD21 View Post
    I’ve been one thinking Lucia’s days are numbered for the past few seasons and have been worried for SCSU. Motzko may have SCSU roots but he would be the ideal hire with all his national junior team connections. With St. Cloud’s financial difficulties, I’m sure the U could make an offer SCSU could just come nowhere to matching.
    Not as concerned about Sandelin-if I were worried about him going anywhere else it’d be UND. He doesn’t like the Gophers and gets his team primed to beat them. Only concern is Shannon Miller really f’d the school leaving them in an even harder place so they couldn’t counter an offer either but I still think Motzko is 10x more likely. Sandelin built up UMD’s program and it took a while so I just don’t see him being as much of a recipe for instant success for Gophers.
    Really hoping it goes Guentzel, Potulny or some other long shot. GWOZ!!! Think they’re looking for younger than Gwoz and Blais? I suppose Gwoz coaching HS hockey in Colorado isn’t exactly making him a recruiting tool. Guentzel/Blais could be a combo though but Blais may not last long. I’m surprised he’s still coaching thought he wantded to retire but maybe that was just his Minnesotan excuse to leave UNO
    Agreed, no way Cloud can match what the U could offer. I don't want Sandelin so I'm glad you don't think he'll want the Minnesota job. And I agree that he'd probably be more likely to bolt for UND. No thank you on Blais. I would have taken Gwoz in a heartbeat about 5-6 years ago but at age 64 that isn't a whole lot different than Blais.
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