Don Lucia was delegating a lot more to his assts. in the past couple years, but MG's job description was limited to the defense. He spent 21 years as a Gopher asst. under Doug Woog and Don Lucia and returned to the Gophers from Omaha in 2011 with a view to replacing Don Lucia whenever that time arrived. Brad Berry had 10 yrs. experience as an asst. at UND before being appointed as head coach.
Mike coached two Hobey Baker Award winners, 16 All-Americans and helped develop 29 NHL defenseman.
Some fans may not realize that last year about this time MG was honored by his NCAA D1 peers at the American Hockey Coaches Association convention in Naples, Fla. with the Terry Flanagan Award recognizing his career work as one of the top assistant coaches in college hockey.
In a statement last season at this time, Lucia mentioned Mike Guentzel as his choice to replacement him:“No one better represents the Gopher Hockey program and college hockey than Mike Guentzel,” said Lucia. “Mike was a great leader on the ice for the Gophers as a captain, and he has dedicated his career to being an equally great coach for us. In my opinion there isn’t a better coach in the nation for defensive prospects and for that matter, there isn’t a coach that cares more about his players and his program.”
At the risk of being personally attacked for sharing a currently unconventional opinion on a discussion forum, I would have liked to have seen what MG as head coach would have brought to the table. His family bleeds hockey and I feel badly for him that he didn't get the job he'd been waiting for throughout his career."Mike has certainly paid his dues," Lucia said. "He'd be the logical one to take over. He's obviously someone that I would endorse. He's very passionate. He's knowledgeable. He was a former captain. If I could wave my magic wand, which I don't get to do, I think he's earned the right to get the next opportunity here."
Motzko stated that choosing his assts. will take more time. I wouldn't be surprised if we've seen the last of MG behind the Gopher bench.