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An Open Letter to Coach Umile

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  • #91
    An Open Letter to Coach Umile

    To Chuck Murray and other ant-Umile folks: I know Dick Umile and both of his assistants. IMO, from working closely with him, Scott Borek, is hands down, one of the best recruiting coaches in college hockey. He & Brian McClosky helped Bob Gaudet re-build the Brown Program, and he re-built the Colby program. Dave Lassonde was a highly regarded assistant at Miami before migrating east.

    UNH has always had problems out-recruiting BC and BU to get the best Boston area programs, and competes with Maine for other NE prospects.
    Borek has good roots in western Canada, the USHL, and NAHL. Just becasue they don't get to the Frozen Four each and every year doesn't mean they should clean house. The program has been very successful under Rich and is set up to continue seamlessly under Borek, Lassond, or McCloskey when he finally retires. Not unlike the Michigan staff where Red Berenson is blessed to have vet assistants like Mel Pearson & Billy Powers, Umile has his two guys, plus the Women's coach inside the fort. My suggestion for all you Umile headhunters is chill out and enjoy the game & team.

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    • #92
      Re: Success begets success - heart and soul

      Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

      Now at the risk of some derision, I'm going to wander in with my personal experiences (admittedly on a much lower level) on the huge importance of correctly identifying leadership within any given team. I'm not sure that a coach faces a more important and critical task than to identify its leaders, and put them in leadership roles for the present and/or future of the team. Getting those decisions right or wrong will impact the chemistry of a team accordingly. And in the end, it is a coach's job to get to know ALL of their players, and in doing so get a clear sense of who your true leaders will be.
      I'm glad that you are back posting Chuck cuz I enjoy reading you're rants. But your references to your coaching experiences are laughable. Coaching youth soccer and comparing that to Umile's job as head coach of UNH hockey is in the words of my much loved sister-in-law "RIDONKULOS."

      I remember you calling for Umile's head after the 2002 FF and weren't you calling for coach McDonnell's head at about the same time frame

      As an alum and a rabid UNH hockey fan since 1970 I am proud of what Umile has done for the proram. Would I like to see an NC? Yeah. Would I like to see a young coach out there recruiting? Yeah
      GO BLUE/GO UNH

      COLLEGE HOCKEY RULES

      Comment


      • #93
        Re: An Open Letter to Coach Umile

        Originally posted by Onion Man View Post
        Are you serious? Boston College and Boston U. play in Boston, they have proven track records to get kids into the NHL, they play in the Beanpot, they are fantastic academic institutions, and both are coached by two of the greatest coaches to ever wear a whistle. UNH has none of those.

        Besides that, I can't imagine why else...
        Stick to the first clause in your sentence. The other stuff is next to irrelevant. I've been to just about every Beanpot since I was in high school and I am here to tell you that the tournament is just about meaningless now. It doesn't come close to capturing the imagination of the general student population of the four schools, or even their alumni anymore. Part of it is the domination of BU and BC, one of which has been in every Beanpot final since it started in 1953. In its heyday, which I think was the late '70's through the late 80's, all four teams were competitive. But Harvard has gone down hill mightily since then and in this year's tournament, they were an absolute joke. NU is the little engine that could, and they have a rejuvenated student body, but it is still BU's and BC's to lose every year.

        Top end kids go to to BU and BC because of these schools record of producing NHL players. You look at the concourse walls at both schools and see the number of NHL players they have produced in the last 10-15 years compared to UNH or any other HE school, the number is staggering. No secret why BC won in 2001, they had 10 guys on that team who have played in the NHL. You look at UNH's wall (which unfortunately is down in the locker room level and not on the concourse), and they have about 30 all time.

        The job at UNH, and most other schools, is not to go toe-to-toe with BU & BC (and all those WCHA/CCHA schools), it is to go get those players who will improve year to year and be real leaders by the time they are seniors. UNH has had plenty of those guys during Umile's tenure (Bobby Butler is the latest example), the problem right now is we don't have enough of them. To me that's the failure of the recruiters. As I've said before (and I'm not the only one), we spend too much time chasing down kids who did not play one single minute for the school. That's a strategy that has to change.

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        • #94
          Re: Success begets success - heart and soul

          Originally posted by Clark-Hislop-Cox
          and on, and on, and on...Were the first 9,000 posts as long as the last 50? Since you first posted this thread with the gall to presume you had heartfelt advice that Coach Umile needed to listen to, this thread has been more about you than anything else. Do you honestly think that coaching adolescent soccer teams qualifies you to advise any NCAA Division 1 hockey coach? This is a fan forum, not the coaches' corner.

          If anyone really needs to remind themselves how vital and successful Coach Umile has been and continues to be, I suggest you look up some of the interviews with JvR about why he came to UNH and what Coach Umile meant to his career (not to mention the many former players who continue to speak very highly of him).
          Not to worry C-H-C I've got your back on this one. Chuck and I used to go at it pretty hard back in the day. His off the wall rants if taken with a grain of salt can be fun to read. If you choose to take him on though be ready cuz he can be as wordy as a Philadelphia lawyer and as stubborn. He's usually wrong though so don't take him too seriously
          GO BLUE/GO UNH

          COLLEGE HOCKEY RULES

          Comment


          • #95
            Re: An Open Letter to Coach Umile

            Originally posted by Greg Ambrose View Post
            Stick to the first clause in your sentence. The other stuff is next to irrelevant. I've been to just about every Beanpot since I was in high school and I am here to tell you that the tournament is just about meaningless now. It doesn't come close to capturing the imagination of the general student population of the four schools, or even their alumni anymore. Part of it is the domination of BU and BC, one of which has been in every Beanpot final since it started in 1953. In its heyday, which I think was the late '70's through the late 80's, all four teams were competitive. But Harvard has gone down hill mightily since then and in this year's tournament, they were an absolute joke. NU is the little engine that could, and they have a rejuvenated student body, but it is still BU's and BC's to lose every year.
            You may have that opinion. However, as a fan of one of the four beanpot schools, I will say it isn't entirely meaningless to me. Also, year after year I read in the paper quotes from players from all four schools stating that the allure of the Beanpot most certainly helped in their decision to attend their institution. Was it the main reason? No, probably not. Nor should it be. However, it certainly is a posititve rather than a negative and it is something schools like UNH, Maine, etc. cannot offer.
            National Champions: 2012, 2010, 2008, 2001, 1949
            Hockey East Tournament Champions: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2001, 1999, 1998, 1990, 1987
            Hockey East Regular Season Champions: 2014, 2012, 2011, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2001, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1987, 1986, 1985


            Originally posted by SteveF
            two things you need to know about the current state of BU hockey

            a) fanboys chanted 'thank you seniors' at the beanpot
            b) fanboys chanted 'wheres your beanpot' while getting blown out in the semis of the HE tournament

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            • #96
              Line of succession in place ... or not??

              Originally posted by FRICKER View Post
              To Chuck Murray and other ant-Umile folks: I know Dick Umile and both of his assistants. IMO, from working closely with him, Scott Borek, is hands down, one of the best recruiting coaches in college hockey. He & Brian McClosky helped Bob Gaudet re-build the Brown Program, and he re-built the Colby program. Dave Lassonde was a highly regarded assistant at Miami before migrating east.

              UNH has always had problems out-recruiting BC and BU to get the best Boston area programs, and competes with Maine for other NE prospects.
              Borek has good roots in western Canada, the USHL, and NAHL. Just becasue they don't get to the Frozen Four each and every year doesn't mean they should clean house. The program has been very successful under Rich and is set up to continue seamlessly under Borek, Lassond, or McCloskey when he finally retires. Not unlike the Michigan staff where Red Berenson is blessed to have vet assistants like Mel Pearson & Billy Powers, Umile has his two guys, plus the Women's coach inside the fort. My suggestion for all you Umile headhunters is chill out and enjoy the game & team.
              Sometimes I despair for the lack of reading comprehension on this board. If you think I'm for pushing Coach Umile out the door ... you've got the wrong guy. But yeah, I'm concerned about the gradual slippage in the program over the last 7 or so seasons. And I'm fully aware that said "slippage" might still be at a level that would be more than acceptable at numerous other NCAA Division One programs. I'm very much a "bird in the hand" guy with this, and I've gone to great lengths to express my appreciation for what Coach Umile and his staff have accomplished during their UNH tenures.

              But it's a big logical jump from suggesting that Coach Umile possibly consider adjusting some of the things he's done in the past, and advocating for his removal, no?? If folks are content with how things have been going since Buffalo in 2003, nothing anyone says here is likely to change their minds. And that's cool. But as someone who saw what happened at the end of the Coach Holt era, and is seeing a lot of the same trends possibly repeating now ... I'm increasingly concerned. I think that's legit too.

              Now what you suggest about a seamless transition involving the three guys currently "inside the fort" is compelling. If someone were to tell me that the day Coach Umile decides he's had enough, then Coach McCloskey would be shifting over to run the show in his place, and also retaining Coach Lassonde and/or Coach Borek ... I could honestly live with that, and quite happily.

              But everything I've read here at USCHO, or have heard through very reliable sources outside this board suggests that such a scenario is not very likely to happen. So that's driven the discussion elsewhere.

              Otherwise, in looking at some of the other recent posts, I think I'm about 99.9% on board with Greg's post from this morning. And Greg certainly doesn't appear to be advocating for Coach Umile's removal, either.

              As for you, e.cat ... I miss you too. Really, I do.

              "I am proud of what Umile has done for the proram. Would I like to see an NC? Yeah. Would I like to see a young coach out there recruiting? Yeah"

              Is there an echo in here?????
              Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
              Montreal Expos Forever ...

              Comment


              • #97
                Re: Success begets success - heart and soul

                Originally posted by Clark-Hislop-Cox
                ...posters are simply fans who realize they largely don't know what they are talking about (like me) but offer their thoughts for the sake of advancing the discussion, gaining a better understanding, and/or sharing a good laugh.
                Me too, cause mostly I don't have a clue. What I do have is friends who meet players and relay conversations with them to me every year and the luck to have met a few players' parents over the years. These interactions always leave me feeling proud of the UNH hockey program and what it stands for. Sure I wish we won certain big games, but recently I've been trying to focus on how it might feel to be a fan of the opposing team when we win a big game (we do this quite often actually) and things don't seem so bad.

                I've coached some very big youth soccer and softball games and the only thing I learned from that is anything can happen in a big game.
                I will not be out cheered in my own building.

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                • #98
                  Re: Success begets success - heart and soul

                  Originally posted by e.cat View Post
                  and weren't you calling for coach McDonnell's head at about the same time frame
                  Let's be honest. McDonnell was on his way out until a 4th string QB saved his job.

                  To his credit, McDonnell has parlayed Santos's success into vastly improved recruiting, which has allowed the program to remain very competitive.

                  But let's not pretend that McDonnell's coaching suddenly took a leap forward.
                  113-162-27 .419

                  252-113-40 .672

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                  • #99
                    Re: An Open Letter to Coach Umile

                    But it's a big logical jump from suggesting that Coach Umile possibly consider adjusting some of the things he's done in the past, and advocating for his removal, no?? If folks are content with how things have been going since Buffalo in 2003, nothing anyone says here is likely to change their minds. And that's cool. But as someone who saw what happened at the end of the Coach Holt era, and is seeing a lot of the same trends possibly repeating now ... I'm increasingly concerned. I think that's legit too.


                    ^^ This

                    No where in any of my posts do I advocate giving Dick "tracy" Umile the boot. He's done a good enough job with what some could consider marginal/good talent in the past. I just think he isn't quite keeping up with the changing landscape that is college hockey. Should he have come across my other thread, I truly hope he realizes it was mostly in jest!

                    I am of the belief that giving Umile and his crew the boot would probably hurt the program significantly. As much as the fans call for a guy like Foley , what is he doing so great at Harvard? Harvard has a guy who played in the NHL at the helm, one of the best academic institutions, and a mint location ( sorry BU, comm ave sucks compared to Cambridge) but still can't do jack ****. UNH continues to be a strong tradition, and guys who graduate like JVR have nothing but great things to say...rightfully so.

                    Gibber said it best to me recently - keep my expectations in check. He's right. I don't expect too much, and a few fun games backed by a strong season are good enough for me. Last year when I was living in Durham, I brought my gf to the BC game and got mint seats right near when Reemer dangled the **** out of a BC pylon and scored. Fvck playoffs, those are memories right there. Sounds sappy I know, but I am a sappy mutha****er sometimes. Learn to love it!
                    "Look to the end, no matter what it is you are considering. Often enough, God gives man a glimpse of happiness, and then utterly ruins him"

                    -Herodotus

                    Comment


                    • Re: An Open Letter to Coach Umile

                      I have some questions:for the UNH crowd.

                      You only have two assistants. One is the goalie coach.

                      Isn't that weird? Don't most teams have two regular assistants and a goalie coach?

                      I'm not saying that's the cause of the problems, but that does seem rare to only have two assistants total.

                      I know Borek has been a HC before and recruits decently. I don't know what Lassonde does or if he is a good recruiter or not.
                      Feed The Hungry! Click once a day!

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                      • Re: An Open Letter to Coach Umile

                        Originally posted by FRICKER View Post
                        To Chuck Murray and other ant-Umile folks: I know Dick Umile and both of his assistants. IMO, from working closely with him, Scott Borek, is hands down, one of the best recruiting coaches in college hockey.
                        oh oh monsieur, alf da Dicks Umile sycophants on dis tred telling to keep im cuz e do such a grate jobs wif leetle talente. Mais now you telling us dey grate recruiters.

                        I actual tink dey not so bad on da recruit. Personaly I tink dey ZUCK at poste saison et beeg game coching. Neveur - NEVEUR - ever any adjustemente, ever. Juste bang you ed aganst de wall ovure et ovure again. Pour decades.

                        Bottom line? E been given da resources (et de salary) to win et e don't . You genious buddies a his can talk all day mais you is what you recorde say you is, et no NC et juste 2 HE title in 20 year don't saying much, non?

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                        • Re: An Open Letter to Coach Umile

                          Originally posted by Jacques "Rabbit" Poriveau View Post
                          oh oh monsieur, alf da Dicks Umile sycophants on dis tred telling to keep im cuz e do such a grate jobs wif leetle talente. Mais now you telling us dey grate recruiters.

                          I actual tink dey not so bad on da recruit. Personaly I tink dey ZUCK at poste saison et beeg game coching. Neveur - NEVEUR - ever any adjustemente, ever. Juste bang you ed aganst de wall ovure et ovure again. Pour decades.

                          Bottom line? E been given da resources (et de salary) to win et e don't . You genious buddies a his can talk all day mais you is what you recorde say you is, et no NC et juste 2 HE title in 20 year don't saying much, non?
                          For those of us who aren't on acid, I think he's saying UNH recruits well, but suck in the post season because the team doesn't make adjustments.

                          Yes. I agree. Merci, Jacques.
                          Originally posted by state of hockey
                          Tecate tonight. Haha!
                          Originally posted by state of hockey
                          Ugh. That was a bad idea.
                          Ever notice how, after hockey season, baseball games seem INTERMINABLE??

                          Comment


                          • Re: An Open Letter to Coach Umile

                            Originally posted by freak View Post
                            Let's be honest. McDonnell was on his way out until a 4th string QB saved his job.

                            To his credit, McDonnell has parlayed Santos's success into vastly improved recruiting, which has allowed the program to remain very competitive.

                            But let's not pretend that McDonnell's coaching suddenly took a leap forward.
                            You're probably right. David Ball certainly helped matters too. Let's not talk about that Nova playoff game last fall though.

                            Originally posted by Clark-Hislop-Cox
                            Thanks for the tip e.cat. It's initially annoying when a poster is far more self-assured than is warranted by their background, experience or knowledge. For example, self-proclaimed experts on recruiting who only read scouting reports and don't go out and watch prospects in person are annoying and don't deserve the deferential treatment they receive. By the time I figure out the emperor has no clothes (or doesn't have a relevant wardrobe), it's easy to overlook what they have to say.

                            The forum is fun when the posters are simply fans who realize they largely don't know what they are talking about (like me) but offer their thoughts for the sake of advancing the discussion, gaining a better understanding, and/or sharing a good laugh.
                            Hey I coached youth hockey when my three sons played so I basically fall under the category of "a little knowledge is very dangerous." Over the years I've learned a couple of things like offsides, checking up, dump and chase, equitable ice time versus equal ice time (that was a hard one to learn!). I learned from Jack Edwards what blowing a tire means too

                            Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                            As for you, e.cat ... I miss you too. Really, I do.
                            Likewise I'm sure
                            GO BLUE/GO UNH

                            COLLEGE HOCKEY RULES

                            Comment


                            • Mon dieu - une true Manch legend!

                              Originally posted by Jacques "Rabbit" Poriveau View Post
                              oh oh monsieur, alf da Dicks Umile sycophants on dis tred telling to keep im cuz e do such a grate jobs wif leetle talente. Mais now you telling us dey grate recruiters.

                              I actual tink dey not so bad on da recruit. Personaly I tink dey ZUCK at poste saison et beeg game coching. Neveur - NEVEUR - ever any adjustemente, ever. Juste bang you ed aganst de wall ovure et ovure again. Pour decades.

                              Bottom line? E been given da resources (et de salary) to win et e don't . You genious buddies a his can talk all day mais you is what you recorde say you is, et no NC et juste 2 HE title in 20 year don't saying much, non?
                              No kidding ... Jimmy "Bunny" Poriveau!! Long time no see, mon ami!!

                              For those who might not know ... "Bunny" is a colorful character who was raised in a Franco-American neighborhood in Manch, and used to work at JFK Coliseum at the skate rental shop, and also drove the Zamboni back in the '80's and '90's. I'd heard that he left long ago - not much was said about where he ended up, so it's nice to see him posting here. His story is kind of bittersweet, but probably warrants recounting.

                              Anyway ... Jimmy's folks moved to Manch from somewhere up in Quebec in the '60's, when "Bunny" was still a pre-schooler. I think he made it as far as his first year at Central, but he always struggled with the language, so he dropped out and eventually was hired by the city to work at JFK, where an uncle was facilities manager at the time. Jimmy basically did everything at JFK, and really loved his work, so while he always kind of a loner and never started a family ... life was still good. He was doing what he loved to do.

                              Life seemed to get even better when the UNH program entered the picture, when they played at JFK in the '94/'95 season - while Snively was being rehabbed, and what would become The Whitt was still under construction. To say Jimmy was psyched that JFK would be hosting UNH hockey in that transition would be an understatement. He was still a relatively young guy back then, and he gravitated to the "French" kids like Gagnon, Larochelle and Stevie Pleau. But his favorite players were older Canadian kids like Flinton and Bryan Muir. I guess Jimmy felt a kinship with them due to his heritage.

                              Anyway ... it was a loose bunch that season, and they spent a ton of time on buses between Durham and Manch. A bunch of practical jokers, and of course "Bunny" wasn't immune to being the butt of their jokes. And Jimmy was still kind of naive, so that played right into their hands if they wanted to pull his chain from time to time. And that would prove to be his undoing.

                              Word is that at the end of the season - a season BTW that ended with an OT upset loss to Providence in the HE quarterfinals, and a 9-2 drubbing at the hands of Denver in the opening round of the NCAA's - one of the older guys (not sure if it was Flinnie or Muir, or Eric Royal - a NH kid that Jimmy also gravitated to) sold "Bunny" that Coach Umile was going to hire him as equipment manager for UNH Men's hockey for the following season. And of course, Jimmy fell for it hook, line and sinker. So of course he quit his dream job at JFK, and when Coach Umile had to break the news to Jimmy that his old UNH pals had hosed him big-time ... well, you can imagine how that impacted on the poor unsuspecting kid. Hit him like a "tonne a briques" he told a mutual friend. But Jimmy so loved those UNH kids that I don't think he ever believed Coach Umile. He's never quite been the same since.

                              As you can see ... he still follows the UNH program, and I guess I'm only surprised that "Bunny" hasn't chimed in yet, championing the virtues of his old pal from back in the day, Stevie Pleau. Bon chance, Jacques!!
                              Last edited by Chuck Murray; 04-04-2010, 11:27 PM.
                              Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                              Montreal Expos Forever ...

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                              • An Open Letter to Coach Umile

                                To Chuck Murray: My comments about the three in-house coaches one day replacing Umile would only happen in a perfect world. At least one and maybe all three will be gone by the time Umile hangs 'em up. I can't quarl with injecting new blood into the organization, or at least shuffling the deck on the asistants responsibilities, although think that's already been done. Whichever way you cut it, UNH is in pretty good shape from a coaching standpoint.

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