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  • UNH Offseason Contract Edition.

    Here we go. Three years to go, do we move forward or wonder each March if we eat the money and move on?

  • #2
    After enough time to speculate on the details (and for UNH to file it) I will FOIA the contract again. I plan to request it at the end of April. Until then, have at it!

    Comment


    • #3
      ​​​​​An absolute travesty, and the Hilary Witt decision is just as bad. You can't build a winning culture with serial losers.

      Won't get another penny from me until these contracts finish.
      "...On To Victory, Forever Blue & White..."
      Men's Hockey

      ECAC Regular Season: 1 • ECAC Tournament: 1 • Hockey East Regular Season: 8 • Hockey East Tournament: 2
      NCAA Appearances: 22 • Frozen Fours: 7 • 1999 & 2003 NCAA Runner Up

      Women's Hockey
      EAIAW Champions: 4 • ECAC Regular Season: 3 • ECAC Tournament: 5 • Hockey East Regular Season: 6 • Hockey East Tournament: 4
      AWCHA Final Fours: 2 • NCAA Appearances: 5 • Frozen Fours: 2 • 1999 Runner Up
      1998 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ClOuD 9 View Post
        ​​​​​An absolute travesty, and the Hilary Witt decision is just as bad. You can't build a winning culture with serial losers.

        Won't get another penny from me until these contracts finish.
        That's a bingo...
        I'm just here for the hockey...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by deltabravo62 View Post
          After enough time to speculate on the details (and for UNH to file it) I will FOIA the contract again. I plan to request it at the end of April. Until then, have at it!
          My guess is $275k per year which also brings his years into a state retirement situation this year.

          Wonder what Hillary got and does this money translate into Santos’ next contract.

          This year was $6k per win. Let’s see what that equates to next year.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post

            That's a bingo...
            I was stunned.

            Looks like UNH has its Red now, and that makes no sense to me.

            Comment


            • #7
              You make this sort of decision - with this sort of excitement - when your understanding of UNH Men's & Women's Hockey, Hilary Witt & Mike Souza, extends all the way back to the 2022-23 season and NO further. It makes you wonder if the AD has any idea of what hockey has accomplished at UNH, has meant at UNH (cares about what hockey means at UNH?) and the extended history of either coach...

              A combined 19 seasons in Durham, with just three seasons above .500, zero regular-season titles, one top-four finish (women), two tournament semi-final appearances (both women), zero tournament finals appearances (let alone championships), zero NCAA Tournament appearances and an overall record of 242-344-69 (.422). More specifically, that is 128-185-31 (.417) for the women (Witt's extension is much more criminal) and 114-159-38 (.427) for the men. But both program's improved from last year to this year, so well timed (I mean...um...earned) in a two-year vacuum...

              An embarrassingly low bar for two programs that put UNH on the national stage year-over-year, not so long ago.

              --

              Rich better be right, because if she is wrong (which I think is 75% likely for the men & 95% likely for the women), there is a real chance she has just hammered the final nail into the coffins of the UNH Hockey programs. In doing so she becomes every bit as culpable as Dick Umile, Mike Souza, Hilary Witt and Marty Scarano themselves. At best, she should join the two coaches on the evaluation block three seasons from now, at worst both programs are dead in the water anyway...

              A decade of zero accomplishment now risks turning into a decade and a half, and with every passing season an actual rebound to relevance becomes more and more unlikely...

              Perhaps UNH just doesn't care. Darius has expressed his willingness to support UNH if they choose to exist on the fringes of DI Athletics. I don't share that sentiment. Miami fired their coach - a year early. They care; I'll probably start to pay more attention to them.
              Live Free or Die!!
              Miami University '03

              Comment


              • #8
                Hockey East needs a strong UNH.Does the program make money?
                Last edited by walrus; 03-20-2024, 04:51 AM.
                I swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell.

                Maine Hockey Love it or Leave it

                Comment


                • #9
                  So, nobody has been more wrong about the Souza contract guesses than me. Remember, my speculation before we saw the contract was that Souza was surely on his last year in 22-23. In my defense, I underestimated Marty Scarano's old-boy instincts.

                  We also all have biases in how we view situations. It's always best to try and put those aside and make the best decisions based on the results, not necessarily your "gut." That doesn't mean forget the past or your instincts, but try to minimize viewing it through those lenses.

                  Lastly, I assume smart people make decisions based on facts, not personal feelings (that excludes Marty)

                  With those huge caveats out of the way, here's my most hopeful read on the situation.

                  First, AD Rich must have been skeptical of the coaches, based on the slower pace of any extensions later into the season.

                  Second, both coaches "overperformed" (more about that in a second), and so, as many said, it would have been very hard to not renew them "just as they are finally starting to show signs" of building. Even I had come to the conclusion that moving on after a 20-win season, in which you were picked for 10th and finished 6th, would have been very hard. And that was before his peers put him up for "coach of the year"

                  Third, on the expectations. Souza's greatest success is so lowering expectations so that finishing 6th makes him a finalist for Coach of the Year. In another universe, where he kept UNH relevant post Umile, the "five straight years without finishing higher than 6th" would have been grounds for moving on. Kudos for recalibrating expectations, I guess. But by the same token, the argument that UNH only finished middle of the pack set an unrealistic demand for this year, given how low Souza had brought the program.

                  Fourth, from an adversarial instinct, I had viewed this situation as a one-year, "continue to prove it to me" position. Seeing three years was well-beyond reasonable under the facts.

                  Fifth, we don't know how the major donors play into the decision.

                  This leaves me to conclude either AD Rich lacks the understanding, as Dan posited, which would contradict my general framework assumptions.
                  Or, the second option is that she is far better at her job than my "adversarial" negotiation bent. It all depends on what Delta Bravo can find out, but a three-year deal, if structured right, enables everyone to win. It puts the coaches in the best position to succeed, as it is perceived there is U. support (as you can see from even our reaction). But, depending on the details, the actual commitment may be far shorter. If AD Rich attends any AD conferences, I assume they cover modern contract issues involving buy outs and credit offsets.
                  At the extreme, for example, you could have both parties having a termination right (opt-out). Or, you could have a buyout clause for far less than the remaining years. Wisconsin had Granato under contract for five years, and over protest, gave him an "extension" in 2022 that ostensibly lengthened the commitment. But it actually reduced it, by making a termination far more reasonable. Granato was fired March 2023.

                  With a blank slate/no existing contract, structuring it so that a walk-away after each year would be reasonable could be accomplished. That way you allow him the best opportunity to succeed, but retain the ability to move on each year. Let's say he is at $275. So in theory the extra two years are $550. Let's say a buyout is instead set at $75-100K after year one, and $50K after year 2, or $150K with salary offset after year 1, $75K salary offset year 2, and that is manageable. Or, in the world where Rich used a lot of her leverage, the buyout is even less than these numbers.

                  That then leaves the issue of expectations. If UNH is in the same, middle of the pack situation next year, is that viewed as evidence that we've clawed our way out of the cellar, this year was not a fluke. If so, the same rationale keeps him for year two of the contract, meaning the larger buyout (which would still be manageable if things don't work out next year) is gone, and you only have the small last year buyout. Or is the expectation of continued growth, so a comfortable 4-7 finish with some playoff success?

                  **************
                  I am pretty indifferent among the choices, because once you move away from dreaming of an exciting new opportunity, you're really just in for a slow slog growth, where (biases noted) you think you'll plateau at 5-8th place. Rather than an exciting new guy like DeMichiele/Dumas/Cashman being able to step in and take credit for the "growth" that got Souza to hang on a bit longer, while building momentum. But to end where I started, I've been wrong on a lot of this, so I remain hopeful/indifferent and I remain wrong.
                  What is clear is that Souza owes Marty regular checks of several hundred thousand dollars for sneaking that extension to 2023-24 through while heading out the door. Without it, he'd be at another job already.
                  Last edited by NCAA watcher; 03-20-2024, 07:38 AM.
                  The Souza record:
                  15-16 10th place
                  16-17 10th place
                  17-18 11th place
                  18-19 8th place
                  19-20 9th place
                  20-21 10th place
                  21-22 9th place
                  22-23 10th place

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NCAA watcher View Post
                    So, nobody has been more wrong about the Souza contract guesses than me. Remember, my speculation before we saw the contract was that Souza was surely on his last year in 22-23. In my defense, I underestimated Marty Scarano's old-boy instincts.

                    We also all have biases in how we view situations. It's always best to try and put those aside and make the best decisions based on the results, not necessarily your "gut." That doesn't mean forget the past or your instincts, but try to minimize viewing it through those lenses.

                    Lastly, I assume smart people make decisions based on facts, not personal feelings (that excludes Marty)

                    With those huge caveats out of the way, here's my most hopeful read on the situation.

                    First, AD Rich must have been skeptical of the coaches, based on the slower pace of any extensions later into the season.

                    Second, both coaches "overperformed" (more about that in a second), and so, as many said, it would have been very hard to not renew them "just as they are finally starting to show signs" of building. Even I had come to the conclusion that moving on after a 20-win season, in which you were picked for 10th and finished 6th, would have been very hard. And that was before his peers put him up for "coach of the year"

                    Third, on the expectations. Souza's greatest success is so lowering expectations so that finishing 6th makes him a finalist for Coach of the Year. In another universe, where he kept UNH relevant post Umile, the "five straight years without finishing higher than 6th" would have been grounds for moving on. Kudos for recalibrating expectations, I guess. But by the same token, the argument that UNH only finished middle of the pack set an unrealistic demand for this year, given how low Souza had brought the program.

                    Fourth, from an adversarial instinct, I had viewed this situation as a one-year, "continue to prove it to me" position. Seeing three years was well-beyond reasonable under the facts.

                    Fifth, we don't know how the major donors play into the decision.

                    This leaves me to conclude either AD Rich lacks the understanding, as Dan posited, which would contradict my general framework assumptions.
                    Or, the second option is that she is far better at her job than my "adversarial" negotiation bent. It all depends on what Delta Bravo can find out, but a three-year deal, if structured right, enables everyone to win. It puts the coaches in the best position to succeed, as it is perceived there is U. support (as you can see from even our reaction). But, depending on the details, the actual commitment may be far shorter. If AD Rich attends any AD conferences, I assume they cover modern contract issues involving buy outs and credit offsets.
                    At the extreme, for example, you could have both parties having a termination right (opt-out). Or, you could have a buyout clause for far less than the remaining years. Wisconsin had Granato under contract for five years, and over protest, gave him an "extension" in 2022 that ostensibly lengthened the commitment. But it actually reduced it, by making a termination far more reasonable. Granato was fired March 2023.

                    With a blank slate/no existing contract, structuring it so that a walk-away after each year would be reasonable could be accomplished. That way you allow him the best opportunity to succeed, but retain the ability to move on each year. Let's say he is at $275. So in theory the extra two years are $550. Let's say a buyout is instead set at $75-100K after year one, and $50K after year 2, or $150K with salary offset after year 1, $75K salary offset year 2, and that is manageable. Or, in the world where Rich used a lot of her leverage, the buyout is even less than these numbers.

                    That then leaves the issue of expectations. If UNH is in the same, middle of the pack situation next year, is that viewed as evidence that we've clawed our way out of the cellar, this year was not a fluke. If so, the same rationale keeps him for year two of the contract, meaning the larger buyout (which would still be manageable if things don't work out next year) is gone, and you only have the small last year buyout. Or is the expectation of continued growth, so a comfortable 4-7 finish with some playoff success?

                    **************
                    I am pretty indifferent among the choices, because once you move away from dreaming of an exciting new opportunity, you're really just in for a slow slog growth, where (biases noted) you think you'll plateau at 5-8th place. Rather than an exciting new guy like DeMichiele/Dumas/Cashman being able to step in and take credit for the "growth" that got Souza to hang on a bit longer, while building momentum. But to end where I started, I've been wrong on a lot of this, so I remain hopeful/indifferent and I remain wrong.
                    What is clear is that Souza owes Marty regular checks of several hundred thousand dollars for sneaking that extension to 2023-24 through while heading out the door. Without it, he'd be at another job already.
                    For reference, previous contract buyout was one years salary beyond a thirty day notice of termination meaning he would get 13 months salary from the date of the termination. Which on my calculator comes out to 292,500 if given termination notice other than "for cause" situations.

                    Also, as far as I could tell the previous extension was signed as an additional paragraph (amendment) to the original agreement language and not a new agreement beyond the changing of the end date. Will be curious to see if any of the language / agreement changed in this three year extension or if it is just another new paragraph with maybe a few changes in figures.

                    Edit: Mike Souza better be trying to stuff the ballot boxes for COTY, that's a nice $7,500 check headed his way if he wins and the first athletic performance bonus he would take home in six years!
                    Last edited by deltabravo62; 03-20-2024, 08:28 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is the advice I would give UNH fans: enjoy the present. The glory days have come and gone for Maine and UNH fans and we need to enjoy what we have right now.

                      Even with Maine having a good year this year they’re nowhere close to where they were in the past and it’s hard for me to see any sort of sustained success over a longer period of time going forward. If you look at Maine’s last seven years there are two good seasons, four average/mediocre seasons, and one bad season. I think a similar pattern probably plays out over the next seven years.

                      Even without the success of the past I still enjoy watching the games and cheering them on. Somewhere along the line in the past few years I’ve come to accept that they’re never going to be as good as they used to be and it’s definitely made it easier.

                      I don’t think you guys have the worst situation in the world either. You have some good players on the team and good recruits lined up. Not sure you’re on the verge of competing with BU and BC but should definitely be in the mix for ncaa tournament.
                      Originally posted by BobbyBrady
                      Crosby probably wouldn't even be on BC's top two lines next year

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A new nom de plume...

                        Athletic Directors at any college or university are practitioners of the dark arts of internal politics and self promotion. Dr. Rich is no different. Publicly, her role is to develop and promote UNH athletics and to field conference winning teams with the ultimate goal of winning national championships. Internally, her role is secure power and build a legacy (i.e. new buildings and infrastructure) to bolter her bona fides to secure a new position at a larger university with an even bigger salary. By extending MS7's contract by three years, she tipped her hand and exposed her true intentions.

                        Winning isn't the priority. If it was, a bold move would have been made to shake UNH Hockey out of its decade plus record of apathy and indifference. This move was all about fundraising and genuflecting to the whims of big donors, real or imagined, for the benefit of career advancement. Our friend Allison is paying for the sins of her predecessor who ignored the hockey program to chase dream of turning UNH into a "football school." Rather than making the hard choices, she has taken the path of least resistance to extend an underperforming coach. Why? To secure power.

                        She now owns MS7. His future is in her hands. By spinning a year over year improvement into a three year deal, Rich gains a disciple, a sycophant and a toady to do her bidding. Like the eunuchs of old, MS7 merely exists to serve his master, results on the ice be damned. Now, it's all about raising capital and building a totem to the legacy of Dr. Rich and the next steps of her career.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by thegrouchycat View Post
                          a new nom de plume...

                          Athletic directors at any college or university are practitioners of the dark arts of internal politics and self promotion. Dr. Rich is no different. Publicly, her role is to develop and promote unh athletics and to field conference winning teams with the ultimate goal of winning national championships. Internally, her role is secure power and build a legacy (i.e. New buildings and infrastructure) to bolter her bona fides to secure a new position at a larger university with an even bigger salary. By extending ms7's contract by three years, she tipped her hand and exposed her true intentions.

                          Winning isn't the priority. If it was, a bold move would have been made to shake unh hockey out of its decade plus record of apathy and indifference. This move was all about fundraising and genuflecting to the whims of big donors, real or imagined, for the benefit of career advancement. Our friend allison is paying for the sins of her predecessor who ignored the hockey program to chase dream of turning unh into a "football school." rather than making the hard choices, she has taken the path of least resistance to extend an underperforming coach. Why? To secure power.

                          She now owns ms7. His future is in her hands. By spinning a year over year improvement into a three year deal, rich gains a disciple, a sycophant and a toady to do her bidding. Like the eunuchs of old, ms7 merely exists to serve his master, results on the ice be damned. Now, it's all about raising capital and building a totem to the legacy of dr. Rich and the next steps of her career.
                          This !!!!
                          UNH

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Drew S. View Post
                            This is the advice I would give UNH fans: enjoy the present. The glory days have come and gone for Maine and UNH fans and we need to enjoy what we have right now.

                            Even with Maine having a good year this year they’re nowhere close to where they were in the past and it’s hard for me to see any sort of sustained success over a longer period of time going forward. If you look at Maine’s last seven years there are two good seasons, four average/mediocre seasons, and one bad season. I think a similar pattern probably plays out over the next seven years.

                            Even without the success of the past I still enjoy watching the games and cheering them on. Somewhere along the line in the past few years I’ve come to accept that they’re never going to be as good as they used to be and it’s definitely made it easier.

                            I don’t think you guys have the worst situation in the world either. You have some good players on the team and good recruits lined up. Not sure you’re on the verge of competing with BU and BC but should definitely be in the mix for ncaa tournament.
                            Feel free to keep that thought process over on the Maine thread, here's the link in case you need it.

                            https://fanforum.uscho.com/forum/col...crawl-to-glory

                            I will not be ok with UNH Athletics accepting the sad sack thought process of "just happy to be here". If that's the way Admin and the fanbase want to allow this team to go then I will find my way to the exit.

                            Not expecting a frozen four bid every year, but if we are hanging a banner for 6th place and a blowout in the HE quarters then I will just say "no thanks"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It happened @Maine...and it is pain saking..until the fans stop going...big time Donors stop...it will happen...when the money drys up...but it will take another 3 years...not good for Hockey East...Need strong teams in Maine and UNH...bottom line it's frustrating when you know and see the problem and they continue to shoot themselves.

                              Comment

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