Friday, April 13, 2012

Everything but an offer (updated)

Pat Christman/The Free Press
The Johnson Alumni Room at Minnesota State's Taylor Center was filled with media, boosters, fans, alumni, players and MSU coaches and athletic staff late Friday afternoon. It looked like a coronation was imminent.

As it turned out, it was just an open forum/press conference with a candidate for the Mavericks hockey coaching vacancy, Mike Hastings, the associate head coach at Nebraska Omaha.

Hastings appears to be the leading candidate — Minnesota State athletic director Kevin Buisman said Hastings is the only finalist being announced at this time — but he said he had not been offered the job.

"This has been a process, and it's one that we've had a lot of conversations on," he said. "It's gone incredibly positive, and we're just trying to continue in that process."

Hastings arrived in Mankato at 11:15 p.m. on Thursday night. Besides doing interviews on Friday, he and his family toured schools and neighborhoods. They will stay the night in Mankato, he said.

"I have a family to be concerned about, and (MSU has) a program to be concerned about," he said, "and we just have to continue on that process right now."

Hastings, 46, said he was impressed with Minnesota State and the people he met and certainly wants to be a head coach. He said he thinks there's a "renewed commitment" to hockey at MSU.

Buisman said he didn't think anything would be decided on Friday night and that they would reconvene with President Richard Davenport soon to take the next step in the process.

UPDATE: Read The Free Press story here. Read a story out of the Omaha World-Herald here. Minnesota State shot video of the event; see that here.


Sam said...

I am fired up to see Mike Hastings' name jump to the top of the list. This guy has a tremendous track record and I think he will be one heck of a addition to the great coach he already is. After all, he has a ton of connections to the top junior league in the United States, and all the credibility in the world after becoming the all-time wins leader among USHL coaches.

I grew up a Sioux Falls Stampede fan, and saw Hastings' Omaha Lancers play countless times. It seemed like year after year, they were the dominant force among all United States Hockey League teams.

I would love to see him tabbed as the next head coach and am eagerly awaiting a formal announcement.

To me it's a foregone conclusion that he will become the head coach if he wants it. I just don't understand the point of the hoopla and press conferences if this isn't for real. Who just randomly brings in multiple candidates for in-depth press conferences and Q&A sessions?

Hastings is the guy.

MSUMaverickFan said...

It would be a shame if Hastings was the only applicant granted a public appearance. I'd like to see more than one "finalist" given a similar opportunity. With quality candidates supposedly waiting in the wings, it would be short-sided not to offer equal opportunity to (Cary Eades). Let's not crown Mike Hastings by means of shear anteriority. I am excited about the prospect of "meeting" a few candidates, to ensure a more consensus decision.

Dave said...

To me Eades has more upside since he doesn't have a "heir apparent" situation at UND unlike Hastings at UNO or Guentzel at Minnesota. I would gladly take Hastings but my gut feeling is that as soon as Blais retires or leaves UNO, Hastings will make his way back to Omaha where he has spent most of the last decade and a half.

Andy said...

Dave, even though Mike's hockey roots say he's from Omaha, he is a native Minnesotan and played for St. Cloud State under Herb Brooks.

Not only that, somehow after Blais leaves I don't see UNO remaining a NCHC power if they even become one at all. MSU has the chance to solidify their spot as leaders in the "new" WCHA with Ferris State by making a move like this.

No disrespect to Cary Eades, but MSU's made up their mind. Mike Hastings will become the third coach in program history.

Dave said...

I know where Hastings is from but he has spent the last 14 years or so coaching hockey in the Omaha area, so he has ties to that area. He has had success with the Lancers so the hockey community knows and likes him there. That was all I was alluding to.