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UNH Wildcats 2021/2022 - Return of the Champions of October?

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  • Chuck Murray
    replied
    Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
    I would think managing a major (and highly successful) D1 soccer program would be way too much on top of AD duties...? There are high schools that have ADs who teach and coach but those are few and far in between.

    It's a huge all encompassing job even at that level from what I've garnered over the years. But hey its an intriguing idea!
    There used to be a handful of D-1 football coaches who doubled as AD for their schools. Given 'dc's prior response, I don't know if it's even allowed these days? The only way it can work is if you have lots of help (1) on the recruiting front with the program you are coaching, and (2) on the administrative front for the AD job while you are taking care of coaching your own program. You'll notice I made provisions for (2) in my original pitch, admitting Hubbard as AD would likely require his own version of what Steve Metcalf a/k/a Commish Nigel did for MS+infinity.

    Totally understand this is a little "outside the box" thinking, but Hubbard is basically a townie and shapes up as a UNH lifer. The earnings potential in the US for what he does is pretty much at or very close to max in his current situation, he already has signaled that with his long-term extension, and being a dual AD is the only realistic "promotion" he can aspire to here in his hometown. He has proven his abilities to coach successfully at two unlikely stops, which tells me he understands what is important to a program's success, and what is just window-dressing or belly-aching. He is still a relatively young man, so he has the energy to pull this off IF he has any interest in doing so. To me, the only question is, does Hubbard want the AD job?

    What "sells" me on Hubbard as a candidate is his likely ability to basically call BS on underperforming current coaches AND underqualified or under-ambitious future coaching candidates, just based on his own personal life experiences. If there's another way to tap into that expertise without giving him the AD tag, I'm all ears ... but without the AD tag, assuming you make him an official OR unofficial "advisor" to the new AD, (1) he's not likely to be compensated justly for that expertise, and (2) he may be loathe to be frank with his assessments of peers and colleagues, as he would not be as their superior?

    I've tried to talk myself out of this pitch a few times already, but if the idea is that it's all "too much for one guy", I get that ... BUT there are ways to address that. And Hubbard has been doing "way too much" as a coaching lifestyle for a long time, it's what's made him so successful, so this won't require a huge lifestyle change on his part. Our paths crossed briefly, early in time at SNHU, where he was pretty much a one-man show - coaching, recruiting, publicity, etc. I was coaching younger kids at that point, nowhere near college (on the cusp of HS actually), but Hubbard was out making connections with youth clubs all over the state (and probably beyond, based on the length of the e-mail lists I received?), keeping folks informed about his program, and inviting groups to come see games in Hooksett. We brought a half-dozen kids over to his games, and even an offseason event that SNHU hosted with national team-level women's players. I wasn't even aware of who he was at the time, or that he'd already been a UNH assistant. I did see a young man with lots of passion and lots of energy for what he was doing, and it's pretty apparent he's had a vision of what it takes to be successful for a long time ... and that vision has gotten him (now UNH) to a place no one - and I mean NO ONE (except him) - ever thought remotely possible.

    IF he wants it, he's got my vote. JMHO.

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  • HockeyRef
    replied
    Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

    No reason the contract couldn't be renegotiated to adjust for the additional duties as AD.

    Hubbard would get a handsome raise, and UNH would probably save half a full AD's salary.

    Win-win, no? I don't see it as an "issue" in the least, unless Hubbard isn't interested ...
    I would think managing a major (and highly successful) D1 soccer program would be way too much on top of AD duties...? There are high schools that have ADs who teach and coach but those are few and far in between.

    It's a huge all encompassing job even at that level from what I've garnered over the years. But hey its an intriguing idea!

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck Murray
    replied
    Originally posted by wildcatdc View Post
    Only issue is that he was just signed to a very long-term contract as a coach.
    No reason the contract couldn't be renegotiated to adjust for the additional duties as AD.

    Hubbard would get a handsome raise, and UNH would probably save half a full AD's salary.

    Win-win, no? I don't see it as an "issue" in the least, unless Hubbard isn't interested ...

    Leave a comment:


  • teez
    replied
    Originally posted by wildcatdc View Post
    the often-raised point here of restoring our most cherished flagship program is DEFINITELY the top point on my list.
    'DC, nice to hear that you have the opportunity to give some input on this hire. Thanks for chiming in to solicit feedback from the group. Couldn't agree more with the overall consensus.

    Leave a comment:


  • wildcatdc
    replied
    Folks, thank you for the feedback. I’ve been able to cull and synthesize a “Dirty dozen” themes that I’m going in with. While I don’t plan on over-indexing on the hockey points (as you can imagine, that kind of homerism would kill credibility), the often-raised point here of restoring our most cherished flagship program is DEFINITELY the top point on my list.

    Leave a comment:


  • wildcatdc
    replied
    Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

    There is one potential candidate you actually run very little risk of losing to a "bigger" school/program, and the bonus is, he's already a UNH employee. In fact, he's also a UNH alum, a long-time local with deep roots in the community, and has a demonstrated history of success on a national scale with two different NH-based programs. He may not be a "hockey guy" but given his background, he will understand the importance of hockey in the UNH culture far better than any outside hire. And as someone who has built and consistently driven winning programs in what had been considered "salted fields" until his arrival, he will innately see through the BS excuses trotted out by would-be coaches in other sports (especially hockey) for why their programs are underperforming, leading by example with the success of his own program, and sending a very clear message to the entire Athletics Department that UNH has high expectations for ALL sports.

    Give him a "young & hungry" second in command to fill the Steve "Commish Nigel" Metcalf role of day-to-day menial tasks, to allow the new AD to continue to spend the necessary time to keep his own program moving ahead towards the top of the D-1 pile, as he's been doing over the last several seasons. And since his AD predecessor has nailed down the buildings/facilities part of the job, the new guy would be free to focus on building for success ON the field/ice/pitch.

    UNH could do a whole lot worse than appointing Coach Marc Hubbard as their brand-new AD.
    Only issue is that he was just signed to a very long-term contract as a coach.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck Murray
    replied
    Originally posted by Whalers View Post
    With that being said, I believe that it is imperative that UNH look for someone young and dynamic to lead this rebuild, at the both the AD spot AND the Hockey coach. As others have said, you are obviously going to lose the AD down the road to a bigger money program, but we shoudln't care. The upgrade will right the ship and get it back on track. THAT is the most important thing. Have a better shot at retaining the coach because the salary differences are not as great. Hockey MUST be elevated back to the #1 spot in the hierarchy, unless you want a 1A/1B with football. Hockey IS the one sport with the most national exposure potential, so need to ride it.
    There is one potential candidate you actually run very little risk of losing to a "bigger" school/program, and the bonus is, he's already a UNH employee. In fact, he's also a UNH alum, a long-time local with deep roots in the community, and has a demonstrated history of success on a national scale with two different NH-based programs. He may not be a "hockey guy" but given his background, he will understand the importance of hockey in the UNH culture far better than any outside hire. And as someone who has built and consistently driven winning programs in what had been considered "salted fields" until his arrival, he will innately see through the BS excuses trotted out by would-be coaches in other sports (especially hockey) for why their programs are underperforming, leading by example with the success of his own program, and sending a very clear message to the entire Athletics Department that UNH has high expectations for ALL sports.

    Give him a "young & hungry" second in command to fill the Steve "Commish Nigel" Metcalf role of day-to-day menial tasks, to allow the new AD to continue to spend the necessary time to keep his own program moving ahead towards the top of the D-1 pile, as he's been doing over the last several seasons. And since his AD predecessor has nailed down the buildings/facilities part of the job, the new guy would be free to focus on building for success ON the field/ice/pitch.

    UNH could do a whole lot worse than appointing Coach Marc Hubbard as their brand-new AD.

    Leave a comment:


  • Whalers
    replied
    Darius, glad that you are able to give some feedback to the admin in a group setting. We all appreciate you taking the time to do this. In these types of settings, I have found it best to be more straightforward with responses. A typical university dynamic is based upon "dontstickyourneckout", so giving the same sort of feedback gets lost in the shuffle and into irrelevancy. On the other hand, by saying that you speak for a wide range of TICKET BUYING fans and ex-STH's will give you some weight (or should) that your ideas are based on a far deeper understanding of the situation. You are also confirming that there are significant dollars that have been paid into their coffers (ultimately their salaries and livelihoods) that MUST be part of the consideration.

    With that being said, I believe that it is imperative that UNH look for someone young and dynamic to lead this rebuild, at the both the AD spot AND the Hockey coach. As others have said, you are obviously going to lose the AD down the road to a bigger money program, but we shoudln't care. The upgrade will right the ship and get it back on track. THAT is the most important thing. Have a better shot at retaining the coach because the salary differences are not as great. Hockey MUST be elevated back to the #1 spot in the hierarchy, unless you want a 1A/1B with football. Hockey IS the one sport with the most national exposure potential, so need to ride it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck Murray
    replied
    Originally posted by Darius View Post
    Chuck Murray #raisingthe bar :-)

    I thought about that one the most. Winning championships is hard. Two championships, 4 attempts in the big game for every generation.
    Going back to your initial post with the list of metrics for "respectable" ... if you substituted "once in every five years" in place of "once in every five trips", then I think it all falls into line with your other metrics. No biggie, overall I don't disagree with most of the metrics, but consigning yourself to losing 80% of your tourney semifinal games doesn't feel "respectable" to me. :-)

    Leave a comment:


  • HockeyRef
    replied
    Originally posted by Darius View Post
    ‘Ref, I UNH USCHO Fan Forum threads absolutely love you. We both wear blue tinted glasses, but you are misinformed about the Friends. I’ve avoided posting much, if anything, about this to avoid betraying confidences. My numerous sources are impeccable, connected and confirmed. One is still a UNH employee. I may feel that the statute of limitations on confidentiality expires when Marty retires, but for now I will say that the Friends had been under the UNH umbrella for several years. There was notice. The friends were creating roadblocks to their own success, resisting modernization and unwilling to take advantage of fundraising (their primary focus) synergy that might exist from working with other groups and organizations. Every time this topic comes up, I’ve let it go, but the time before this I said to myself, “enough, I am responding next time”. There are too many people who volunteered and are still volunteering in support of UNH hockey fundraising to let this slide any longer.
    Thanks Darius you are much more connected to the inside of things than I. Pretty much I was recounting (mostly to Chucks point about having an apology made to the FOH) that an attempt was made by the AD to the work that was done by the group. I'm not holding any ill will regarding all of that and I'll be honest I think (well in my experience) not all of us Members were "in the know" that last season about what was coming down the pike as some more connected officers were. So for me esp it was a shock and a surprise sorry many of us felt blindsided...was not the only one who felt that way and am not going to apologize for those feelings.

    I doubt anyone in that tight group would care to respond at this point. But from what I hear it was not a pretty or tidy ending. You're right...enough is enough but there's still plenty of people who feel slighted to this day by the whole thing.

    But I am all done holding onto that past. I want to see UNH hockey rise up and "be great again" if I may use that phrase. What's done is done and I continue to give what I can via the 603 challenge going to as many games as possible etc.

    And if that means wearing those blue colored glasses that's fine by me although some would say my more recent posts might say otherwise! (Give my criticisms of recent results) ...Appreciate your forthright post.
    Last edited by HockeyRef; 02-15-2022, 09:15 PM.

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  • Darius
    replied
    Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

    Good list, Darius ... only one doesn't make sense, why advance to the Finals only once every five trips? Even the renowned postseason struggler Coach Umile comfortably cleared that low bar. Why not (say) one in three, or even (gulp) one in two??
    Chuck Murray #raisingthe bar :-)

    I thought about that one the most. Winning championships is hard. Two championships, 4 attempts in the big game for every generation.
    Last edited by Darius; 02-15-2022, 08:25 PM.

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  • Darius
    replied
    Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
    I know there are other FOH people that have/had been members longer than me so, if they wanna come in and give some feed back, I hope they would. I will say that after a meeting with the fan group in the Spring of 2017 (or whenever the FOH 'went away') I spoke up about how awful it was to see things dissolve with no real notice from the University (and more specifically, the Athletic Department/AD). A couple of weeks after that I (and I'm guessing other FOH) members did receive a letter stating all that we did for the team, etc . Not really an apology of sorts but more of an acknowledgement of the good deeds the group did, which, were too numerous to name. Like I said, I was kind of a newbie to that group and its workings. There were a lot of hard feelings that I'm sure still reverberate to this day. And the women's team group no doubt, but, I cannot speak to that.

    Fans of course are an integral part of any athletic operation, I don't care what sport or what level. Perhaps the powers that be felt we were getting too close to the situation and asking for too much input/feedback or to answer to how the team was doing. The FOH had a very warm relationship with Coach Umile; most likely he kept it going but after he retired, it was def out. Maybe there were NCAA ramifications I do not know. Obviously due to Covid the past two years getting any kind of real fan access to the team in 'meet and greets' have been curtailed and that is not the fault of the AD. Hopefully in the future as things ease up this can return.

    Naturally, there are two sides to every story. I'm not sure I ever really heard the Universities side of it. The new AD should know that hockey is as d.gerry states, a very important sport at the U. We are not looking for favoritism over other sports but, there is growing discontent among the fan base about how the team has fared in the past few seasons. We fully understand that to play competitive D1 hockey that fans at UNH had grown accustomed to takes both excellence in recruiting and coaching. Hopefully whomever the University entrusts in this / these positions will take a hard look at how this is going and create a timeline for improvement. If no marked improvement is seen then its only course of action is to change who is running the program. This would not be an unusual move; happens in everyday life and not just in athletics!

    I do not kid myself that I know the ins and out of how a hockey team should be recruited or coached and this is not meant as a slam to our current and most recent past players. The bottom line is they are student athletes and that fact should not be forgotten in the process. But to see UNH hockey become (?) 'just another sport' at UNH is not acceptable to those fans who continue to fill those seats and pay the $$ to be STH's and just every game participants.
    ‘Ref, I UNH USCHO Fan Forum threads absolutely love you. We both wear blue tinted glasses, but you are misinformed about the Friends. I’ve avoided posting much, if anything, about this to avoid betraying confidences. My numerous sources are impeccable, connected and confirmed. One is still a UNH employee. I may feel that the statute of limitations on confidentiality expires when Marty retires, but for now I will say that the Friends had been under the UNH umbrella for several years. There was notice. The friends were creating roadblocks to their own success, resisting modernization and unwilling to take advantage of fundraising (their primary focus) synergy that might exist from working with other groups and organizations. Every time this topic comes up, I’ve let it go, but the time before this I said to myself, “enough, I am responding next time”. There are too many people who volunteered and are still volunteering in support of UNH hockey fundraising to let this slide any longer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck Murray
    replied
    Originally posted by Darius View Post
    Good for you and the U ‘dc. I participated in a similar forum at the Elliott Alumni Center not long after Debbie Dutton joined UNH. I don’t recall athletics, certainly not a specific hire being the topic, but Marty spoke to the group and it was clear from one of the organizational behavior/team building/ice breaking group exercises that the majority of attendees maintained their connection to UNH through men’s hockey and/or football. This was not a coincidence. The University is aware of it. ‘watcher’s “special sports” below.

    BTW ‘watcher, great post. All of it. Except for basketball. Really? ;-) The rest was worded better than I would have done, but all thoughts swirling around in my head. Knowing the hiring metrics would be my first question. The second would be if UNH is aware and committed to the special sports performing at a respectable level. My thought would be that while each team does not have to attain the exact metric of respectability every year, head coach of a special sport is not a lifetime appointment.

    My metric for respectable is:
    • Being in the top half (home ice) of the regular season standings more often than not
    • Win in the first conference playoff round (go to the Garden) more often than not
    • Advance to the conference finals one of five Garden trips
    • Win the conference tournament twice every generation creating institutional memory
    • Qualify for the NCAAs more often than not
    • Win the first round NCAA game more often than not
    • Essentially go into every year thinking an NCAA title is not impossible
    Good list, Darius ... only one doesn't make sense, why advance to the Finals only once every five trips? Even the renowned postseason struggler Coach Umile comfortably cleared that low bar. Why not (say) one in three, or even (gulp) one in two??

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  • Chuck Murray
    replied
    Originally posted by Whalers View Post
    Picket signs - I like the slogan "pay us like hockey coaches". Even with how terrible the hockey team is doing, they still put a lot more asses in the seats than the largest lecture hall. Would those same teachers/professors be ok with the admin's ability to fire them at will? How about people/parents being able to watch every class and place them under the results microscope? The same individuals calling up "TeachersHub" to critique every lecture for grammar, content and also opine about how terrible your wardrobe looks? Actually, that might be a lot of fun. :-)
    That happened quite a bit at the HS level. Turned out to be quite revealing, ended up exponentially increasing attendance at school board meetings. Pretty sure most UNH profs wouldn't enjoy that ...

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  • Darius
    replied
    Originally posted by Dan View Post
    Finally, and most importantly, don't fear hiring a young, hungry and talented AD who may grow UNH Athletics to the point they are hired away.
    May be a cost saving reality.

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