Friday, May 2, 2008

KP Watch

As I'm sure you're all aware, the Badgers may soon be in the market for a new assistant coach. As reported by Todd, Kevin Patrick has applied for 2 positions -- the head coaching position for the UAF Nanooks and the head coaching position for the Green Bay Gamblers. KP is currently the 2nd assistant for the Badgers, and it's no surprise that he's looking to advance his career.

USHR had reported that the Gamblers position was filled by St. Louis Bandits (NAHL) head coach Jon Cooper, but according to Todd the Gamblers president has "strongly refuted" that report. According to the USHL blog, the USHR report indicated that the hiring is not yet being announced because the Bandits are in the playoffs. So I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. The Robertson Cup championship game is this Sunday, so perhaps we'll hear something next week.

The USHL is a step down from Div I NCAA hockey; however, if he gets the job KP would be moving from a position as a 2nd-assistant to a position as a head coach. I would think the scope of the position and the salary would be a big stepping stone for his career, especially as he has no previous head coach experience.

Moving on to Alaska, the Nanooks have narrowed the field from 16 applicants down to 7. AD Forrest Karr has not named any of the finalists, but you've gotta think that KP made the cut, given that he was one of the top 4 finalists for the position last year. After all of the phone interviews are conducted this week, the field will be narrowed to 2 or 3 finalists who will have on-campus interviews late next week. Karr indicates he will announce the new head coach during the business week of May 12-16.

When the applications were being taken for the UAF position last month, KP said, "I think it’s a wonderful college hockey town. I was very impressed when I was there last year. The community really supports the program."

The UAF program is currently somewhat of a mess. The circumstances behind Doc DelCastillo's leaving have not been made public. But it appears that the players and other staff were unhappy with him, and it appears there may have been other more serious issues as well. And while the community strongly supports Nanook Hockey, the commitment of the university to its athletics programs has been questioned. It remains to be seen if any of DelCastillo's recruits will change their minds, but right now it seems the Nanooks have 19 returning players and 13 recruits lined up for next year. (Heisenberg has 13 recruits listed for 2008, with 3 having signed LOIs, and a bunch more lined up for 2009.)

So, you'd have to think the situation in Fairbanks will be a bit "interesting" for the candidate who is selected for the position. Especially given the number of players lined up for next year. But, of course, the recruiting logjam would have been no secret to any of the applicants, so you'd figure KP is aware of this potential difficult issue.

Anyway, keep you eyes open next week for the announcement of the finalists for the UAF position and for a possible announcement regarding the Gamblers' position.