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Thread: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slap Shot View Post
    Based upon what historically? Your sample size notwithstanding they made it 10/15 years and 13/19 and no coach other than Woog (who never won a NC) can beat that. Not even Brooks although obviously Brooks did more once his teams got there. I agree it was time to move on, but you have a really bizarre, unhealthy and quite frankly ignorant perspective on the big picture of Lucia's tenure.
    No I donít, if anything I can look at the last decade more rationally than those who saw the title runs and the years before it. He was great from 1999-2007. After that success was fleeting for the most part.

    As for comparisons Motzko, Sandy, and Hak all did better during that timeframe in terms of making the dance. BU and BC as well.

    And the main reason I use that timeframe is because thatís when I started my fandom (06-07 season was my freshman year and I didnít catch as many games as I wouldíve liked). Itís not like ten years is some small sample and it mostly aligns with when the CBA changed.
    Last edited by trixR4kids; 03-24-2018 at 04:25 PM.

  2. #222
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by Koho View Post
    Well my point is that prior to the Holy Cross victory, a hockey game in the NCAA wasn't as 'fluky' as it is now. And that isn't because the game itself has changed much. It is because teams are so much closer in skill. Same reason that teams that 'almost always make the tourney' aren't making it as often. I think Holy Cross, while viewed at the time as one of the great upsets in sports, was just a sign of what was coming. And with that parity, comes lower winning percentages during the year and more difficulty making the tourney than what was happening through the first several years of a 16 team tourney. As I said, I'm not arguing your point that things could be better than this year. I am just saying that a lot of people think MN should be able to be as consistently dominant as they were in the early to mid 2000's given their advantages, and I don't think that is realistic. Things have changed. I am also trying to point out that I think the bitter taste of the last four games has really clouded the memory for the season, that while inconsistent, included some pretty good stretches as well.

    This years team had a lot of games with poor effort that doomed them once the stars aligned against them at the end. One of the writers talked about Lucia being frustrated at times that the players just didn't seem to get the message, no matter what the coaches tried. So with some new faces and a new make-up, and especially if CM decides to stay, it is reasonable to expect this team might perform better next year, compared to this (regression towards the mean). The new coach would receive credit. But I could also envision that in 5 years, they aren't near the top in the country and people will start rumbling about the coach again. Hopefully I am wrong, but I really think that as long as kids are recruited at 15 (or younger) and the NHL CBA favors signing young guys, it is going to be much more difficult for MN to consistently be in the top 10. (And maybe this isn't clear, I am not saying that the traditional powers will be at the same level as the Maine's, MSU's, Western Michigan's, Quinnipiac's, but that the size of the gap between these teams that existed 15 years ago has shrunk considerably. And there are more SCSU's, UMD's etc. that will be very close.)
    I get that parity is greater now but itís also much greater in the NHL where you have a draft system to more evenly distribute young talent. You still have plenty of haves and have nots in that league and teams with sustained success (obviously the tournament format is much different) despite the fact that itís harder to do by design.

    I get that picking younger players has made things harder more recently but you still get to pick them and certain teams have bigger advantages than others there. And once you do that you can tailor your system to that talent. I just think that even if you believe 9 out of every 10 NCAAís in unrealistic, we should be able to do better than 5/10. 8 seems pretty realistic and 7 most definitely is. I get that Don got sick but it doesnít really explain all of what we saw those seasons or any of the ineptitude beyond.

  3. #223
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by trixR4kids View Post
    And the main reason I use that timeframe is because that’s when I started my fandom...
    Enough said.

  4. #224
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    No not really. Let me guess youíre mad that he didnít get an extension?

  5. #225
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by trixR4kids View Post
    No not really. Let me guess you’re mad that he didn’t get an extension?
    Uh, I've said for a few weeks now it was time to make a change.

  6. #226
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Fair enough. I respect what Don has done for this program and he seems like a great guy.

    And I actually agree with you that big picture wise heís cemented his legacy, a very successful one at that, the first 9 years they were on a mostly upward trajectory with some unlucky hiccups towards the end due to questionable goaltending. My main argument isnít being made to trash his legacy, I just really disagree that we shouldnít have been more successful over the past decade and that the right hire realistically should be expected to do better than that.
    Last edited by trixR4kids; 03-24-2018 at 09:14 PM.

  7. #227
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by trixR4kids View Post
    Nothing wrong with being technical, put more simply I get that factoring that into the analysis would be tougher to do. But I’m not going to get too enamored with win percentage when we know a lot of it is propped up by other factors such as the B1G being horrible and the Gophers basically sneaking in with an autobid one of those years and straight up missing altogether despite winning a league title in another. Looking at those years individually you have 4 good ones and 3 pretty bad ones.

    5 NCAA’s in ten years is awful for this program no matter how you slice it. Your analysis sorta cut out those 3 years too because Don was ill, I don’t think that necessarily is as deserving of a pass as some do I guess and I’m not just gonna throw that data out. If you include it I’d hazard our win % isn’t as impressive.
    Based on your response, it seems to me you missed the basic inferentials of my post. There is no "factoring in" with the procedure I suggested. Moreover, measuring conference differentials is redundant for the two reasons I've already mentioned. A researcher would need to determine the constant in the LS regression equation that's a ""best fit". I hinted at what that would be.

    Secondly, your comment about Don Lucia's illness is a bit harsh and unwarranted. When a person's fandom clouds one's ability to empathize regarding a serious illness of this nature, it's probably time to take a good look inside.

    Symptoms of his illness began to appear near the beginning of the 2008-09 season. He was officially diagnosed with the auto-immune disease sarcoidosis in Dec. 2008. The disease can last for years. Immune system dysfunction from sarcoidosis can cause serious damage to vital organs, such as the brain, lungs, or heart and can be fatal. Obviously this became a serious concern for Don and his family while under the pressure of the 2008-09 hockey season.

    BTW severe stressors like coaching a high profile team like the Gophers is not recommended during recovery. In fact, continuing his coaching responsibilities most likely contributed to the longevity of his illness. During that time John Hill became the interim coach at times when Don was unable to perform his coaching duties.

    Doctors at the Mayo Clinic prescribed a titration of steroids (most likely prednisone) several times per week. Don suffered adverse effects of the disease such as numbing of one side of his face, insomnia, lack of energy, loss of appetite and consistent psychological effects from the steroid medications.

    Coach Lucia battled the disease for approximately two years from 2008-2010 which included the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. He was cleared by his doctor in July 2010. INTERVIEW

    Again, you misunderstood my post. My point was NOT to give Don Lucia "a pass", although coaching the Gophers under those adverse psychophysiological conditions most definitely deserves an asterisk. My post highlighted his body of work in the "recovery period" from his battle with the disease, during seasons 2011-2017. I didn't look at all NCAA teams, but only some of the major schools and coaches in D1. His winning % ranked third behind Jerry York and Hakstol/Berry during that period. All things considered, that's an "A" in my book.

  8. #228
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveO View Post
    BTW severe stressors like coaching a high profile team like the Gophers is not recommended during recovery. In fact, continuing his coaching responsibilities most likely contributed to the longevity of his illness. During that time John Hill became the interim coach at times when Don was unable to perform his coaching duties.
    Iím not blaming him for getting sick obviously but he needed to have better assistants at the time than John Hill (alongside a very green Grant P) and there were other factors that contributed to the problems of that era, namely recruiting, giving Patterson more ice time when Kangas was struggling, and I forget what the deal with Nate Schmidt was that first year (barely played). I get that with the steroid treatment and the illness that he probably wasnít all that easy going at the time and I certainly donít blame him for any of that. I think it is fair to blame him for some of the things that occurred pre-illness though that lead to that era being as bleak as it was and thatís sorta why I donít think you can just write that whole era off due to illness and just ignore it altogether like some people seem to do.

    That said the illness thing was incredibly unlucky and unfortunate and Iím happy that he can now retire (or whatever he plans to do next) in full health. I hope and imagine that the next coach wonít have to go through that. Between him and Jerry Kill thereís been some terrible luck with our coachesí health.
    Last edited by trixR4kids; 03-25-2018 at 11:05 AM.

  9. #229
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Update:

    How the Gophers hockey job Don Lucia left behind has changed dramatically

    http://www.startribune.com/how-the-g...m_mid=76400073
    Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey

  10. #230
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveO View Post

    Again, you misunderstood my post. My point was NOT to give Don Lucia "a pass", although coaching the Gophers under those adverse psychophysiological conditions most definitely deserves an asterisk. My post highlighted his body of work in the "recovery period" from his battle with the disease, during seasons 2011-2017. I didn't look at all NCAA teams, but only some of the major schools and coaches in D1. His winning % ranked third behind Jerry York and Hakstol/Berry during that period. All things considered, that's an "A" in my book.
    And how do you quantify how much Lucia and the program was hurt by the incessant harping of the alumni and the constant complaining of the fan base after the seating/pricing fiasco and the switch to the BigTen.

    With so much of the recruiting base in the neighborhood, I bet it sent potential players elsewhere.

    And certainly it was not all Lucia's fault.

  11. #231
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    I think its going to be Guentzel or Potulny. There's too much outside pressure from donating alumni to hire someone that isn't a former gopher. And the small chance that Motzko or Hastings had got flushed down the drain on Friday.

  12. #232
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    It will not be potulny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePowerConference View Post
    I think its going to be Guentzel or Potulny. There's too much outside pressure from donating alumni to hire someone that isn't a former gopher. And the small chance that Motzko or Hastings had got flushed down the drain on Friday.
    A) Guentzel and Potulny aren't the only alums being considered and B) alums didn't stop donating during the Lucia years and only a small group was bent out of shape that a non-alum was hired.

    Not saying it won't or shouldn't be Guentzel (it won't be Potulny), but I won't be surprised if they went with another candidate either.

    And I'm not writing off Motzko and Hastings after their team's performances. Both have very solid resumes, as do other candidates.

  14. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTDC View Post
    And how do you quantify how much Lucia and the program was hurt by the incessant harping of the alumni and the constant complaining of the fan base after the seating/pricing fiasco and the switch to the BigTen.

    With so much of the recruiting base in the neighborhood, I bet it sent potential players elsewhere.

    And certainly it was not all Lucia's fault.
    Based on what hammy said on GPL the athletic department deserves its share of grief. Not updating the world class weight room, not getting the ice surface changes, milking the hockey program to pay for b-ball/football, the seating re-alignment and Iím sure Iíve missed a few things. Hopefully Coyle can fix this mess because it seems like quite the undertaking.

    Also I donít have any interest in Hastings. Motzko or Guentzel would probably be ok but if thereís a younger assistant out there with some previous head coaching and recruiting experience with a modern take on the game thatís who Iíd prefer. Idk if that guy exists though.
    Last edited by trixR4kids; 03-25-2018 at 05:48 PM.

  15. #235
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    I have nothing against Mike Guentzel. I think heís a fine coach.

    Just curious though: If Guentzel is head coach material why hasnít he been considered, much less taken, a head coaching job by now?

    And if youíre Mark Coyle do you really want to hire a 55(?) year old coach to run a highly visible program only to hire his replacement in 10 or less years?

  16. #236
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    If in ten years both Coyle and Guentzel are still here, that will have been an incredibly successful run for the both of them.

    You donít stick around ten years in any job without having major successes.

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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by Go4PuckFan2.0 View Post
    I have nothing against Mike Guentzel. I think heís a fine coach.

    Just curious though: If Guentzel is head coach material why hasnít he been considered, much less taken, a head coaching job by now?

    And if youíre Mark Coyle do you really want to hire a 55(?) year old coach to run a highly visible program only to hire his replacement in 10 or less years?
    Good questions. By comparison, after Hakstol took the job with the Flyers, Berry was named head coach on the UND website the same day.

  18. #238
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePowerConference View Post
    I think its going to be Guentzel or Potulny. There's too much outside pressure from donating alumni to hire someone that isn't a former gopher.
    Ya but Guentzel is FROM Minnesota. He wins by default

  19. #239
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenthoven View Post
    If tDon made the tourney this year, I bet he would have come back next year, just to finish out his contract, and the U would have been scouting out a replacement. How things turned out this year accelerated that, I think, and the extra noise that fence-sitting fans (like me) finally made may have or may have not added to that decision. Until this year, I was on the "keep tDon" bandwagon, but barely.
    Well, Lucia said in his press conference that getting in to the tournament and/or winning a game or two wouldn't have changed his mind about stepping down after the season was over. Whether you want to believe that or not is up to you. But between that and Coyle wanting to see 'postseason success', I have to imagine that sneaking into the tourney and going one and done would have been the end of Lucia.
    "It ain't over, baby! And that took only six seconds!"

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  20. #240
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    Re: Don Lucia steps down as Minnesota Gophers coach

    Quote Originally Posted by Go4PuckFan2.0 View Post
    Just curious though: If Guentzel is head coach material why hasn’t he been considered, much less taken, a head coaching job by now?
    Because he loves Minnesota? I like Mike and I'm all for him getting the job if it plays out that way, but I get the skepticism too. I think Mike was content here and he came back to Minnesota after his stint in Omaha under the pretense that the head coaching position would be his one day. Is it far fetched to believe that when things were going smoothly here that he turned down head coaching opportunities elsewhere to stay in Minnesota where (hopefully) his dream job would be one day?
    "It ain't over, baby! And that took only six seconds!"

    USCHO gives me another reason to not do work while I am at work.

    Everything is Hill's fault.....

    "Hakstol you hack!!!!"

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