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collegehockeyfan1
02-07-2019, 06:02 PM
Does anyone on this thread still follow the RedHawks? I cannot remember the last time I can remember the last time I saw anyone posting anything about this program. It is surprising that they were 1 minute away from winning the National Championship in 2008-2009 and now they are in last place in the NCHC. What has happened to the program and is there hope that they can return back to contending for an NCAA championship?

Snively65
02-07-2019, 08:27 PM
Does anyone on this thread still follow the RedHawks? I cannot remember the last time I can remember the last time I saw anyone posting anything about this program. It is surprising that they were 1 minute away from winning the National Championship in 2008-2009 and now they are in last place in the NCHC. What has happened to the program and is there hope that they can return back to contending for an NCAA championship?

I am still mad at the Red Hawks for knocking UNH out of the 2007-2008 postseason. :-(

UAFHockeyFan314
02-08-2019, 03:27 AM
What has happened to the program and is there hope that they can return back to contending for an NCAA championship?

Honestly my opinion, but it all stems from realignment. When you pull all of the "good" teams together in one conference and play 26+ gages a year against each other, someone has to lose. And with SCSU, NoDak, DU, and UMD in the mix, they're going to pull better talent on and off the ice to win more consistently.

NorthMike
02-08-2019, 07:15 AM
We keep an eye on them but not huge fans, there is an alum in the family. What a rough season this has been or at least the recent stretch. Blasi is clearly frustrated given his recent tussle with the game refs, and received a conference repremand. Good coach and under a good contract - probably not going anywhere

Dan
02-08-2019, 09:40 AM
I am an alum. There has never been a huge Miami posting presence here. Miami has its own message boards and the hockey fans seem to congregate there (MiamiHawkTalk.com)...

That said, interest is down and frustration is high on HawkTalk. The current thread on the upcoming series with Omaha has six posts - mostly venting. There are a lot of unhappy Miami fans. Many would argue against Blasi having as much rope as some here might believe. There are high expectations for the program in Oxford and they invested a lot to make the move to the NCHC. He does have a long-term deal, so whether the school can afford to oust him sooner or later remains to be seen, but things will need to turn around quickly. I think forcing him to fire his assistants last year (and his cutting of a number of players) was a definitive sign that patience is running short...

Miami's decline directly revolves around the assistant coaches/recruiters. Not long ago, Miami had a pair of assistants as good as any program has had in recent memory. Recruiting shot through the roof with Jeff Blashill (now a head coach in the NHL) and Chris Bergeron (look what he has done at BGSU). Those two were never adequately replaced and recruiting tailed off notably. The RedHawks have had a hard time stringing together deep and impactful recruiting classes ever since. Their approach to recruiting has become much more aggressive under Mannino/Beal - they've moved quickly on some younger targets and picked off prospects committed to other schools, etc. Still, there are not a lot of program changing type talents in the pipeline and their desperation may end up being too little too late...

They've also had some unexpected misfortune in the last year or so. This team can't score - and they would look a lot better if Kiefer Sherwood hadn't unexpectedly left early, the coaching staff hadn't blown it with Carson Meyer and Metaj Pekar had been ruled eligible. Those losses hurt a whole lot more when recruiting has been suspect for so long...

Miami still has one of the best facilities in the sport, an INCREDIBLE campus and a great academic reputation. It shouldn't be difficult to recruit to, or build a winner at, Miami. NCHC or otherwise. The current results are simply unacceptable. This year started hot, but has turned into a disaster. If next season isn't a marked improvement Blasi might be out of a job - and that will be a tough challenge without Melnick and Hutton...

ThePowerConference
02-08-2019, 10:17 AM
Honestly my opinion, but it all stems from realignment. When you pull all of the "good" teams together in one conference and play 26+ gages a year against each other, someone has to lose. And with SCSU, NoDak, DU, and UMD in the mix, they're going to pull better talent on and off the ice to win more consistently.

This is accurate. When you go from the CCHA which annually had a handful of poor quality teams to a stacked NCHC, the competition simply got significantly better. You either keep up or fall behind.

ScoobyFanClub
02-08-2019, 10:19 AM
Blasi should get the rope to right the ship, IMO. Although the cutthroat recruiting tactics it will take to do so, may cause other problems.

Dan
02-08-2019, 10:37 AM
Honestly my opinion, but it all stems from realignment. When you pull all of the "good" teams together in one conference and play 26+ gages a year against each other, someone has to lose. And with SCSU, NoDak, DU, and UMD in the mix, they're going to pull better talent on and off the ice to win more consistently.

There is no doubt that someone had to lose when the NCHC was formed - thats the nature of conference play. But, there is no reason that SCSU or UMD out-recruit Miami except for the fact that they have had better recruiters. Miami has everything that a recruit could want - larger AD, elite facility, beautiful campus, strong academics, history of athletic/hockey success, recent history of moving guys to the NHL, fully-funded scholarship situation, etc - and Michigan, the USNTDP, Minnesota (with NCHC membership) and Eastern/Western Canada fall squarely in its recruiting footprint. Ohio is also turning out a lot of great players lately, and before recruiting lapsed at Miami allowing OSU to rise, the RedHawks had a monopoly on these players. When Miami was on top, they had GREAT success in all those recruiting areas - now they don't. Much more important than changing conferences has been the changes in recruiters...

You could make the argument that in a vacuum UND and Denver have inherent recruiting advantages over Miami. No other NCHC program does. Recruiting doesn't exist in a vacuum and Miami's recruiters have done a sub-standard job. While recruiters at UMD, SCSU and to a lesser extent WMU have simply done better work. Thats the bottom line. They were not more attractive situations for recruits when the NCHC was formed. If they are now, its solely due to the winning products on the ice. And Miami recruiting slipped dramatically to allow that to happen.

Miami has every bit as much to offer and the recruiters haven't capitalized. Which puts Miami behind the 8-ball at the bottom of the conference. That shouldn't be difficult to over come with the right recruiters. Whether Miami starts to recruit to its potential again, under Blasi and the new assistants, remains to be seen. The 2019-20 class seems like it could turn out - but its not a sure thing. The 2018-19 class is pretty dependent, as currently constructed, on the two transfers - Murray from Penn State (USHL leading scorer) and Berry from Holy Cross (eligible second semester). Ryan Savage seems like a solid player, but he's not a scorer. Miami still NEEDS more scoring for next season, without a doubt (especially considering they're losing their top offensive threats at F and D)...

And whether people think Blasi deserves more time to right the ship (and I'm OK with that, if they start making progress) - pulse around the University is, he may not get it if things don't happen very quickly...

Dan
02-08-2019, 11:09 AM
Additionally...

In the early 2010's Miami was building off of a lot of successful teams and seasons. They had a recruiting class that featured names like Tyler Biggs, Connor Murphy, Ryan Hartman and Patrick Sieloff. In a similar scenario as to what killed UNH Hockey (the non-class of Bourque, White and Reid), these players combined to play one season in Oxford. Biggs left for MJ after his FR season, while the other three all bolted to MJ teams late in the process (for various reasons). leaving Miami high and dry just as they were preparing for and making the transition to the NCHC. They had to rush to fill these spots with below average NCAA talent, leaving the program with a real lack of depth and causing the program to dip at the worst possible time. Miami recruiters were unable to replace these players, could not restock the cupboard and have yet to recover their footing, following the less successful seasons that followed...

komey1
02-08-2019, 04:13 PM
It's really a shame what happened. The Redhawk fans and RIT fans had a great time at the Frozen Four as they seemed to make an alliance (albeit a losing one as both teams lost in the semifinals). I had hoped the two teams would be able to schedule regular season games against each other, but that never happened.

Pirateasaur
02-08-2019, 05:03 PM
I can still recall that 2007-08 Miami team as being one of the best iíve seen come to Munn and play MSU.

Also, when MSU was searching for a new coach a couple years ago I was sort of hopeful that we could swipe Blasi. It felt at the time that perhaps Blasi and Miami might be feeling a little stale to each other and maybe heíd want a fresh start at a big program. There was never even a rumor MSU and Blasi ever spoke, though.

Eddie Schorr
02-10-2019, 08:04 AM
To be perfectly frank, Miami was never a hockey power, and they never had the longstanding base of support to sustain fan interest when an inevitable downturn in fortunes arrived. Miami was pretty much a mediocrity and also-ran in the sport until about 2005. In the mid 2000's, they went on a hell of run for eight or nine years and were without question a top ten program (not top five without a NC), but when that ended, it would certainly seem that a large amount of the fanbase simply hopped off the bandwagon.

They're located in a state with marginal hockey culture and two other D1 programs. Cady is nice, but it's not all that special. We're not talking about Yost or Hobey Baker as a recruiting tool. Academics? Miami is 97th in the current USNWR ranking, so I don't see that as some magic recruiting tool in a sport that has many Ivy league and close to Ivy schools in it. The overall athletic department is a typical football mid-major swimming in debt. Once the shine wore off the hot young coach, it would seem that the program has simply gravitated back to its historical norm. Despite all the crowing about "college hockey's newest dynsaty" and "we're a hockey school," Miami really wasn't. It was simply a school that latched onto a hot young coach and rode that wave for awhile, but when the tide receded there was no real foundation there to maintain long term support.

TalonsUpPuckDown
02-10-2019, 09:37 AM
You could make the argument that in a vacuum UND and Denver have inherent recruiting advantages over Miami. No other NCHC program does.

If you can't recruit the top MN kids you can't expect sustained success over the long term in the Nacho. See the Gopher threads for a lot of lamenting on that subject.

I think UMD and SCSU have a big recruiting advantage over Miami.

Dan
02-10-2019, 11:11 AM
If you can't recruit the top MN kids you can't expect sustained success over the long term in the Nacho. See the Gopher threads for a lot of lamenting on that subject.

I think UMD and SCSU have a big recruiting advantage over Miami.

Denver has exactly zero kids from Minnesota on its current roster - a roster that is mid-pack due to youth and nothing more.

Until a year or two ago Miami had a monopoly on top Ohio kids - yes, there are very good players in Ohio (Meyer, Sherwood, Kuraly and Roslovic in just the last few years). When you're getting them all it's a great start. This year's roster has just the third string goalie from the state and Meyer is playing at OSU...

Miami is also in a perfect location relative to loads of top recruits in Michigan, Missouri, Pittsburgh and W. New York, is in the USHL footprint and is equally as accessible to Eastern and Western Canada as any other program in the NCAA. On top of that they now have clear inroads into Minnesota as a part of the NCHC.

With what the school has to offer on top of that - there is no disadvantage at Miami.

We often argue about what school A has to offer as opposed to school B, with complete disregard for the human element of recruiting. As if any replacement recruiters could be dropped into any situation and would produce equivalently. It's just not true - recruiting skills matter. Miami had great recruiters. They haven't recently. That's the issue...

TalonsUpPuckDown
02-10-2019, 11:40 AM
Denver has exactly zero kids from Minnesota on its current roster - a roster that is mid-pack due to youth and nothing more.

Until a year or two ago Miami had a monopoly on top Ohio kids - yes, there are very good players in Ohio (Meyer, Sherwood, Kuraly and Roslovic in just the last few years). When you're getting them all it's a great start. This year's roster has just the third string goalie from the state and Meyer is playing at OSU...

Miami is also in a perfect location relative to loads of top recruits in Michigan, Missouri, Pittsburgh and W. New York, is in the USHL footprint and is equally as accessible to Eastern and Western Canada as any other program in the NCAA. On top of that they now have clear inroads into Minnesota as a part of the NCHC.

With what the school has to offer on top of that - there is no disadvantage at Miami.

We often argue about what school A has to offer as opposed to school B, with complete disregard for the human element of recruiting. As if any replacement recruiters could be dropped into any situation and would produce equivalently. It's just not true - recruiting skills matter. Miami had great recruiters. They haven't recently. That's the issue...

You said earlier that "Well, Denver's Denver" and I agree. Miami isn't Denver...

Dan
02-10-2019, 12:22 PM
To be perfectly frank, Miami was never a hockey power, and they never had the longstanding base of support to sustain fan interest when an inevitable downturn in fortunes arrived. Miami was pretty much a mediocrity and also-ran in the sport until about 2005. In the mid 2000's, they went on a hell of run for eight or nine years and were without question a top ten program (not top five without a NC), but when that ended, it would certainly seem that a large amount of the fanbase simply hopped off the bandwagon.

They're located in a state with marginal hockey culture and two other D1 programs. Cady is nice, but it's not all that special. We're not talking about Yost or Hobey Baker as a recruiting tool. Academics? Miami is 97th in the current USNWR ranking, so I don't see that as some magic recruiting tool in a sport that has many Ivy league and close to Ivy schools in it. The overall athletic department is a typical football mid-major swimming in debt. Once the shine wore off the hot young coach, it would seem that the program has simply gravitated back to its historical norm. Despite all the crowing about "college hockey's newest dynsaty" and "we're a hockey school," Miami really wasn't. It was simply a school that latched onto a hot young coach and rode that wave for awhile, but when the tide receded there was no real foundation there to maintain long term support.

While you are right about Miami's hockey history to some degree - I'm not sure why that matters. Yes, prior to Rico's arrival they had only occasionally flashed potential (Savage, Adams, Robataille, etc) - things changed and was a top program for most of the first 16 years of Rico's tenure (winning 20 games 12 times and making 10 Tournaments) . That may not have been a blue-blood/old money foundation - but that's a significant foundation. Miami was hardly a flash in the pan, new coach sensation...

Steve Cady arena is special. It has EVERY bell and whistle a player could want. It is a new and elite facility - with a great atmosphere when they're winning. Yost Ice Arena is special because it's Michigan's arena. Put it on most other campuses and it's simply a neat place to watch a game. Similar to what Hobey Baker rink is today - cool, but HARDLY a recruiting tool.

As far as academics go - Miami will never rate highly on those lists due to ranking criteria. Though, when I was in school and they tried to compete they were a top-15/20 public school in America. Since, they focus heavily on undergraduate education - which means few of the masters programs and research opportunities (as well as relatively smaller endowment) that feed those lists. Still, I would think undergraduate emphasis would be pretty important to undergraduate hockey players...

http://www.miamioh.edu/news/top-stories/2014/09/us-news.html

Additionally Miami is in and out of the top-10 (among college hockey schools) business schools (and top-50 overall) and as noted in the article above a top-30 undergrad engineering program.

https://www.collegechoice.net/rankings/top-undergraduate-business-schools/

A lot of Miami's undergrad programs are very highly regarded - but those two stand out in college hockey player terms and I don't have the time to look up every one. Outside of the Ivy schools there isn't much Miami (a Public Ivy) can't offer that any other school in college hockey can offer academically that Miami doesn't.

A lot of the 'better' schools are the giant schools where one could just as easily get lost as excel (especially as an athlete) or the small specialty/liberal arts schools in the Northeast. Miami academics easily compete with those schools regardless of what those schools tell you. Especially when considering academic benefit often comes down to the student themselves...

As for the athletic department itself - your description is not unfounded in general, but it is irrelevant when it comes to hockey. Yes, Miami currently has a bad football team, but it's hardly effected hockey. At the time Rico signed his new deal it made him the highest paid coach on campus. The team plays in a state of the art, new and beautiful arena. The staff is paid well. The team is outfitted and supported by a large budget. Miami hockey is not hindered by its football team. If anyone is it's the bball teams...

All of this misunderstanding of Miami and its hockey program only underscores the need for elite recruiters who aggressively make aware and sell top recruits. Miami may not be the best at anything - but it has EVERYTHING!

The recruiters simply aren't getting the job done. It may be one of the more difficult jobs in the NCHC due to its isolated location and it's under-reported strentgths - but if the work is done correctly it's easy one of the jobs with the biggest payoff.

I'd be hard pressed to understand how a kid would visit Miami and, afterward, even consider one of the other NCHC schools aside from Denver which is extremely similar (current hockey success aside). Anyone who would argue that probably hasn't been to visit Miami - which probably represents Miami's biggest hurdle getting kids to travel to Oxford for a visit. Bergeron and Blashill made that happen. Good recruiters can make that happen again and if they do Miami will be back. Whether that's with Rico still here or not...

It's not a coincidence that Miami began to lose ground to OSU when they lost their elite recruiters and OSU gained a recruiting head coach (and added Miller) or that BG rose to WCHA prominence when they hired one of Miami's old recruiters...

The recruiters at Miami have been the difference. Period. The school is the package. Selling it has been the problem. The last few years have been recruiting malpractice, quite frankly...

---

Oh and not that a college hockey player should make their decision based on something like this, but (and there are 100s of articles just like this one on the web)...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thrillist.com/amphtml/travel/nation/colleges-with-the-most-attractive-girls

Dan
02-10-2019, 12:28 PM
You said earlier that "Well, Denver's Denver" and I agree. Miami isn't Denver...

You said flatly you can't win in the NCHC without MN kids. Denver has. Western Michigan also has zero Minnesota kids on the roster. Meanwhile, Omaha has seven. CC has five.

You can't win as a Minnesota school (especially a DII Minnesota school) without getting top Minnesota kids. I think that's what you mean. Being in Minnesota is what SCSU and UMD absolutely need to succeed. And you know why they're winning despite being in the complete shadow of UMN - because they had elite and aggressive recruiters who got after it and never game one rip about their supposed place in the college hockey pecking order...

Miami is close to a number of other very fertile recruiting grounds, has pulled kids from MN before and now should have more access than ever being in a conference with MN teams. MN is now a legit secondary benefit to Miami not a hinderance...

If you're a school with elite access to MI, CHI, STL, PIT, Ontario and WNY you're not losing because you are not first at the table in MN. You're losing because you're recruiters aren't good enough at recruiting anywhere...

Dan
02-10-2019, 12:49 PM
Miami also won the '15 NCHC Championship with just two Minnesotans - one third pair defenseman and non-dresser. They did so because they still had elite upperclassmen (from the many other recruiting grounds available to them).

Unfortunately their younger classes were bare due to the recruiting/MJ debacle I outlined earlier. Miami slipped when those players moved on and the results weren't the same with the replacements on the next few classes. Recruiting has yet to recover because the recruiters aren't as talented...

It also didn't help that they skated Trevor Hamilton in one game that season, before he left for PSU and scored 55 points from the blueline his last two years.

I don't begrudge the outside opinion, in the one Miami thread to show up on this board in years. But as the one guy who went there and actually follows the team closely when I say it really is that simple...

It's not the school. It's not the arena. It's not the AD. It just turns out that replacing a future NHL HC and a guy who revived a dead in the water BGSU team with your third-string goalie, who had ZERO recruiting experience (but was a nice kid), just isn't going to get it done...

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Find talented recruiters who can sell and Miami will be back. Don't and they will become irrelevant quickly.

And to the MiamiHawkTalk posters who I know are now reading this thread - the idea that Mannino has instantly restocked the cupboard is not one I agree with. It's early so we'll see - but right now they have a pretty mediocre pipeline highlighted by two transfers...

One who did very little at Penn State and another from Holy Cross. Savage has never been a pure scorer. If the decision is to make a change this year or next I'm not to worrried about losing some commitments when the opportunity is there to rebuild the staff for the better...

SCSU BlackandRed
02-10-2019, 01:04 PM
Where did Belpedio grow up? Wasnít born in Minnesota and didnít play high school hockey there.

Dan
02-10-2019, 01:11 PM
Where did Belpedio grow up? Wasnít born in Minnesota and didnít play high school hockey there.

You're right. He's from Chicago. Drafted by MN. That was my mistake and I've edited. I had his back story confused with Jarod Palmer - a Minnesota native who played for Miami and was the home-state Wild draft pick story I had in mind...

Point remains, Miami has a lot of inside tracks on top recruiting areas (NCHC further opens MN if anything) and the talent on staff is the big difference. I'm not sure who Talons is a fan of, but SCSU and UMD are poster-children for the impact aggressive recruiters can have...