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UNH Hockey 2023-2024 Season Thread - End Of The Cellar-Dweller Era??

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  • Originally posted by deltabravo62 View Post

    I mean, that is a saying, however this is D1 college athletics and not Howie the mailroom guy. Job performance matters and short of the first half of this season there has been little to no performance. I doubt Melrose High School is offering a package competitive to UNH.
    ​​​
    Did you mean Wakefield High School, db? :-)

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    • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post

      Did you mean Wakefield High School, db? :-)
      I figured Umile would have to get him this job too.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post

        There was speculation on our thread last spring that the AD or the administration did not want to cough up the $230,00 to buy out the last year of Souza’s contract. That kind of money might be just chump change for the Alfond-endowed U Maine, but it is lot of moola for Cow Hampsha’s State U. My guess is that Souza got a message last spring that there needs to be a big turn-around in the team’s fortunes this year, and so far, so good. If the Cats go 8-8-0 the rest of the way, that would give us a 19-14-1 record, pre-MBPBEGAM game, Souza’s first winning record as HC. The question is whether Souza is worthy of even a one-year contract extension without improving on that record with a trip to the Garden or a NCAA regional. There is still plenty of time for Souza to build his case, and I for one think that Mike MacMahon is way out to lunch for suggesting otherwise. I think that Al Pike got it correct in his article. I agree with you that Souza should be looking at alternative career paths forward, as should all at will employees without lifetime contracts like his mentor had.
        You obviously know the internal politics better than me but isn’t there a donor out there who would come up with the cash if the AD thought it was the right way to go?
        Originally posted by BobbyBrady
        Crosby probably wouldn't even be on BC's top two lines next year

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Drew S. View Post

          You obviously know the internal politics better than me but isn’t there a donor out there who would come up with the cash if the AD thought it was the right way to go?
          Ha, ha, ha, as Chuck Murray was tracking a couple big spenders with deep pockets and Cow Hampsha roots earlier in this thread. But, I cannot envision any big donor wanting to see one’s name attached to buying out a poorly performing coach’s contract, which would be unseemly and a horrible look for both the donor and the institution. And I am sure that the same applies for the Alfond family, as in spending for facility upgrades and the like rather than salaries. I think that our relatively new AD is managing coaching situations the best way possible.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post
            Ha, ha, ha, as Chuck Murray was tracking a couple big spenders with deep pockets and Cow Hampsha roots earlier in this thread. But, I cannot envision any big donor wanting to see one’s name attached to buying out a poorly performing coach’s contract, which would be unseemly and a horrible look for both the donor and the institution. And I am sure that the same applies for the Alfond family, as in spending for facility upgrades and the like rather than salaries. I think that our relatively new AD is managing coaching situations the best way possible.
            To be clear, I was definitely in favor of a buyout last summer, and I thought/still think any enterprise with an eight-figure operating budget can find $230,000 in between the proverbial seat cushions without breaking a sweat. That guys like DiLorenzo, Faro, Fleury and Lupoli (among others) are investing legacy-level money into developments across Southern NH - with some of them having UNH ties - only increases the opportunities available to UNH for further development and revenue/resources (DiLorenzo is the Key Auto Group donor). Money doesn't have to be specifically earmarked into the "Buy Out MS7" line item. Of course, most donors will not want to be seen as the heavy hand behind cutting ties with coaches of whatever program they favor. But if part of the money goes into the AD's budget without strings attached, you can do a lot of things with it - including personnel decisions.

            I suspect AD Rich just didn't have the stomach to go the early buyout route, and (as with Herrion) made the conscious decision to let the head coach enter the final season of their contract, with no assurances beyond that. I may have disagreed, but I do respect that decision; AD's will develop a reputation for having little patience, or too much (Blue Skies), and maybe she wants the reputation of being patient and fair minded so as not to scare away quality potential future hires? I get it. She certainly seems to have focused MS7 like no one before to get the results that have eluded him up to this point, in what has been a very mediocre UNH coaching career.

            As we all know, last March she ended up firing Herrion, after another decent season, and falling short of making a deep run into the AE tourney. They obviously were never going to be an NCAA qualifier, short of winning the conference, and that's never happened here before. Wherever the "bar" is set for UNH Men's Hoops, Herrion was the guy who lifted the program from abject failure to consistent mediocrity, and there is credit to be given for that. He was here, what, twice as long as MS7's entire coaching tenure? So Herrion in the end was given lots of time and does leave the program MUCH better than where he found it. But he just couldn't kick on to get to the next level, so Rich (probably correctly) decided he'd had his chance, thanked him sincerely for his services, and brought in someone else who she thinks can get to the next level with the program. He's doing pretty well so far.

            MS7 has to be judged on a much stricter curve than Herrion, just like Santos will be with Football, and now Weinrebe will be with soccer. These are all programs that have experienced success on a national scale (Football at a lower "D2" level of course) under their predecessor coaches, so none of these hires can hope to survive for the long term with mediocre results, like Herrion did. That's why winning records, and trips to HEA weekends in Boston, and to the national tourney, will all factor into the final decision. Job One is get the winning record thing out of the way, and then coach like your job depends on getting the team to the TD Garden and into the national tourney. Because it very well may (and should IMO) depend on that. That was the bar set by Holt long ago, and it was the one Umile nudged up even a little bit further in his tenure.

            Souza is a popular guy in the HEA circles because he's been around awhile, and (to be fair) he hasn't made any enemies yet - which probably is an indictment of the competitive state of his program. There are a lot of other folks in similar positions who would rather see Souza stay on forever, if he's not a threat to their own programs. The coaches at lots of other HEA destinations also probably benefit by being able to count on finishing ahead of one more program, and then be able to point to MS7's record and continued employment as reasons justifying THEIR continued employment. But while being a "loveable plucky loser" type may still float in North Andover, where there are no delusions of D-1 grandeur (yet) ... as many of you have already pointed out, expectations in Durham have always been different. And THAT is the bar Souza will be measured against this March.

            But don't be surprised when other McMahon's surface to sing MS7's praises. Just ask yourselves ... "Why?"
            Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
            Montreal Expos Forever ...

            Comment


            • Originally posted by NCAA watcher View Post

              As to why this was written, McMahon is a Malden Catholic guy who undoubtedly has connections with Souza.
              I'm missing the connection related to McMahon being a Malden Catholic guy (like me) and Souza who played at Wakefield High.
              Last edited by RENCEB; 01-15-2024, 10:23 PM.
              Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

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              • Though we tend to say this 'every weekend' but this weekend is a big one. Looking at the HE standings (and sorry, no idea how many games in hand either team
                has on the other) Yukon is ahead of UNH by 4 points. They are coming off a win (beating Maine) and us a solid performance at BU (but we gotta score y'all).

                Looking for a big weekend 'Cats!
                I'm just here for the hockey...

                Comment


                • Originally posted by RENCEB View Post
                  I'm missing the connection related to McMahon being a Malden Catholic guy (like me) and Souza who played at Wakefield High.
                  Fair question. I’ll-founded assumptions on the part of Dan I think.
                  UNH Hockey: You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by RENCEB View Post
                    I'm missing the connection related to McMahon being a Malden Catholic guy (like me) and Souza who played at Wakefield High.
                    Simply geography, with just one town of separation, Melrose (Umile). :-)

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
                      Though we tend to say this 'every weekend' but this weekend is a big one. Looking at the HE standings (and sorry, no idea how many games in hand either team
                      has on the other) Yukon is ahead of UNH by 4 points. They are coming off a win (beating Maine) and us a solid performance at BU (but we gotta score y'all).

                      Looking for a big weekend 'Cats!
                      “No idea how many games in hand” we have? Seriously, HR? :-)

                      We are 3 points behind UMassywassy, and we have 3 games in hand.

                      We are 4 points behind Yukon, and we have 5 games in hand.

                      We are 5 points behind PC, and we have 3 games in hand.

                      We are 6 points behind Maine, and we have 2 games in hand.

                      Need to sweep the next two weekends to stay in the hunt, nothing less.

                      Last edited by Snively65; 01-16-2024, 08:39 PM. Reason: Typo

                      Comment


                      • Snively65;n3852460]

                        “No idea how many games in hand” we have? Seriously, HR? :-)

                        We are 3 points behind UMassywassy, and we have 3 games in hand.

                        We are 4 points behind Yukon, and we have 5 games in hand.

                        We are 5 points behind PC, and we have 3 games in hand.

                        We are 6 points behind Maine, and we have 2 games in hand.

                        Need to sweep the next two weekends to stay in the hunt, nothing less.

                        [/QUOTE]

                        Haha I leave the logistics up to you my good man! Figures
                        you would have your finger on the pulse of the points!

                        Thanks for the update..! Would be amazing if we could do that (sweep next 2 weekends) -it's a tall order but possible.

                        I'm just here for the hockey...

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post

                          Simply geography, with just one town of separation, Melrose (Umile). :-)
                          ....remember MS7 saying you could find a great hockey player in your own backyard...which he has, see LeClerc, Cy and Gagne, Alex...
                          I'm just here for the hockey...

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by e.cat View Post

                            Fair question. I’ll-founded assumptions on the part of Dan I think.
                            I wasn't the one who made that connection.

                            However, I'd guess it was made based on the tight-knit hockey community in this suburban region of Massachusetts. An area that has seen a ton of networking/connections/loyalty in regards to player and coach matriculation at UNH. Its a region oft-referenced with UNH historically (Umile recruiting pre-McCloskey, Umile coaching hires, Souza early recruiting, etc). A relationship driven region, if you will...
                            Live Free or Die!!

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post

                              ....remember MS7 saying you could find a great hockey player in your own backyard...which he has, see LeClerc, Cy and Gagne, Alex...
                              Not to argue your point here, but looking through the lens of D-I hockey these two guys fall into the "Good" category not "Great", IMO.

                              Edit: don't get me wrong, I am very happy he was able to bring these guys in, they've definitely got skills and vastly improved our compete level. Just need more of them along with a couple of highly touted recruits who can enhance their game.
                              Last edited by d.gerry; 01-17-2024, 02:01 PM.
                              GO BLUE!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Dan View Post

                                I wasn't the one who made that connection.

                                However, I'd guess it was made based on the tight-knit hockey community in this suburban region of Massachusetts. An area that has seen a ton of networking/connections/loyalty in regards to player and coach matriculation at UNH. Its a region oft-referenced with UNH historically (Umile recruiting pre-McCloskey, Umile coaching hires, Souza early recruiting, etc). A relationship driven region, if you will...
                                Original suggestion about the connection was from NCAA Watcher. I knew it wasn't you.

                                Wildcats certainly reaped the benefit of those relationships back in the day with Sean Collins and Steve Saviano out of Reading. Withe Umile (Melrose) and the late Chris Serino (Saugus), UNH had strong connections on the North Shore. Coulda, woulda, shoulda had Vecchione too.
                                Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

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