Sunday, April 1, 2012

Jutting out as Mavs coach

Minnesota State made the move on Sunday, relieving Troy Jutting of his coaching duties and reassigning him to another position at the university.

Jutting, a two-time WCHA coach of the year, had been the coach for 12 seasons and part of MSU hockey for 26, including four as a player and 10 as an assistant. His teams had a record of 184-224-55 (.463), including a 12-24-2 mark this past season.

Read my Free Press story on the move here. Minnesota State's official press release can be found here.

Surprising move? Yes and no.

It's a bit surprising in that Jutting has a season (15 months total) remaining on a contract that pays him more than $150,000/year (that's a bold move for the school, although the press release does say an agreement has been reached between MSU and Jutting), and his team improved through an injury-riddled season and looks like it has some pieces in place for next year and certainly the first few years of the new WCHA.

However, two 11th-place finishes in the WCHA, dwindling attendance at the Verizon Wireless Center (WCHA-era low 3,228 average) and going nine years without getting to the Final Five probably caused the powers that be at MSU to make a change now.

Minnesota State will begin a national search for Jutting's replacement immediately. I'm guessing MSU would like to move fairly quickly on this, and there should be some good candidates. I'll explore more on that tomorrow, but whoever inherits the program will get one that seems to be in pretty good shape to start (not unlike and perhaps better than what Mel Pearson got at Michigan Tech this year).

As for Jutting, he sounded disappointed, naturally, when I talked to him but was gracious in both his comments to me and those on the press release.

Minnesota State has scheduled a press conference for 10:30 a.m. Monday with President Richard Davenport, athletic director Kevin Buisman and some players.


MSU Grad 97 said...

I guess it had to happen sometime. I kind of wanted to see what he could do with these last two recruiting classes before MSU decided this, but I can't say I blame them. I wish him the best and hope he catches on somewhere else in the hockey world. He seemed to be a good guy off the ice and cared about MSU. Now who will yell at the Shepards and Buerlines when they blow the whistle way, way to early or have a spasm with their right arms?

hockeyfan said...

Shane you know the obvious question. Any idea of who is out there and available?

Sam said...

Just saw this on the MSU Athletics website, and my Facebook newsfeed. Unbelievable.

With what seems like a consistent acceptance of the status quo among MSU Administrators, I didn't think we'd be seeing a chance made anytime in the near future.

Jutting did some very good things for the men's hockey program, but it was obviously time for a change. I'm excited to see what happens next.

Shane, should we be worried at all that any of Jutting's 2012 recruits are going to jump ship now? I'd hate to see the Mavs lose a guy like Teddy Bluegar, Bryce Gervais, or Stephon Williams...

Nathan Tish said...

Personally I'm not surprised by the decision, and I don't imagine Coach Jutting was surprised either. With respect and appreciation for all Mr. Jutting did for division 1 hockey in Mankato (of all places)... This is as good a time as any for a change.

As far as incoming recruits are concerned - There's way too much to consider with a kid like Teddy Blueger. He's already a 2nd round draft pick in the Russian KHL, he may very well become an NHL draft pick this summer, and Canadian Junior hockey has become a big influence on teenage prospects (see Tyler Pitlick). Whatever decisions Blueger makes are unlikely to be a direct result of Troy Jutting leaving the Mavericks.

If the Mavericks are serious about making a significant hire, they will have to 'attempt' to sway Mike Guentzel. Not only a great college hockey mind, worty of his shot at a head coaching job - But coincidentally, Jake Guentzel is going into his senior year at Hill-Murray uncommited, and teammate Charlie Sampair is not commited to a D1 school yet either.

Another coach to consider would be Derek Lalonde (Green Bay - USHL). Lalonde is the winningest first-year coach in USHL history. Prior to this year, he spent five years as an assistant for Denver University - Where he proved his ability to contribute by landing big recruits too.

Bill B. said...

I was not 100% certain I would renew my season tickets and blue line memberships for next season. With this announcement I am excited to see what happens and anticipate a better year. My family and I will definitely be there.

I have been a critic of Coach Jutting for many years. After listening to him at the pre-game blue line Q&A's I gained respect for him as a person but still had reservations about his coaching. With that said I was still surprised with this news. I never thought MSU would make a move like this with time still left on his contract. But it is encouraging that leadership at the University see that the Men's Hockey program puts them on the map and needs to improve quickly.

I wish Coach Jutting luck in the future and am excited about what we will see on the ice next year.

LetsGoMavs said...

What an amazing announcement for Maverick Hockey. I too was debating on renewing my season tickets but with this news, I will be getting them for sure.

This is MSU's chance to revitalize the program. They need to be serious about a good new coach (which means not hiring Blue either...he needs to go just as bad) and going hard after Gutntzel and if that doesn't work, consider Eric Rud at CC maybe?

Also with this coaching change it would be great for MSU to fully commit to the program and put more effort and money into promotions and things to draw fans in. A good first step would be to talk to people like Shane who have been to a lot of other WCHA rinks for feedback on what is good. Ideas from the outside are always good!

mexico said...

Rud isn't going anywhere. You can take that to the bank.

Dave said...

The financial aspect of hiring the new coach is going to be the problem. Will MSU fork over the cash to get a better coach. They will have to hand over more than what Jutting made, that is for sure. I don't see Guentzel leaving the U or Eades leaving Whioux U for the friendly confines of Mankato.

I am a fan of Jutting because of his loyalty to Mankato and MSU but a coaching change was needed. He didn't leave the cupboard bare which will be a luxury for the next coach. The biggest hill to climb though is still coming in the way of facilities. MSU can't recruit against what other teams in the league or state can offer. MSU has to spend a LOT of money to get the Mavs on a level playing field of even the mid-level teams of D1 hockey.

Regardless Jutting will be an asset to the athletic department in what ever capacity they choose. There could be no better ambassador for MSU in that respect.

Jeff said...

I love it....supposedly no one wants to come to Kato. At this point, I've hear there is no chance that Guentzel, Eades, or Rud would even think about leaving their situations. That's funny. I can't imagine why guys would sit behind another head coach just because.

Good luck to Troy. He is an asset. He's ridiculously loyal to MSU and will provide a lot of help through this transition.

Goon said...

I know this isn't going to be a popular theme or opinion here but I respect and believe that Jutts is a good coach.