Eades talks about leaving UND

At about 2 p.m., the shocking news came down that UND was not going to renew the contract of associate head coach Cary Eades for next season [full story in Herald here].

I reached out to Eades to see if he wanted to/was willing to comment on what happened. Despite the difficulty of the situation, he said he would talk, because he’s always been a straight shooter and he said he felt he owed it to the passionate Sioux hockey fans.

Eades said he has known for a little while now — before last week’s Florida meetings. When asked if he was surprised or caught off guard by it, Eades said, “Yes.”

His decision to apply for the MSU-Mankato job was independent of this development. Eades said jobs like that don’t come open very often and that was the first job he was interested in or applied for in eight years.

Head coach Dave Hakstol also said that Eades’ pursuit of that job had no bearing in the decision to switch assistants.

Hakstol repeatedly said the decision was because of the restructuring of duties. When asked about specifics, Hakstol indicated that we’ll know when the hire is made.

The first thought in my mind – not a clue whether I’m on the right track or not – is that Hakstol may be looking for a defenseman to coach the blue liners. That is something the staff doesn’t have among the current assistants and, if a defenseman is hired, it would be apparent when the hire is announced, as Hakstol indicated.

The first name that comes to mind has to be Brad Berry, a former UND player and assistant coach. Berry has been in the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the last two years, but his status for next year is up in the air because the Jackets will be making a change at head coach.

Other former Sioux defensemen (again, don’t know for sure if that’s what they are looking for) currently in the coaching ranks off the top of my head include Dane Litke, John Marks, Brad Bombardir, Jason Herter, James Patrick and Rick Wilson (not going to mention Scott Sandelin, who just signed a new deal with UMD).

Hakstol said being a former Sioux player isn’t a requirement for the job. “I think we’re looking for the best skillset fit for what I’m looking for.”

But as we all know, often times that’s where it leads.

Eades, who was one of those former players coaching at UND, mentioned that “everyone knows North Dakota is a special place for me.”

I asked him if this sours his thoughts about UND a little bit. Eades said: “Not in the least.”

Also, expect to hear a lot from Eades in the coaching world in the future. He said he will “absolutely” be staying in the hockey world and he already started fielding calls Thursday afternoon about his possible availability. Not a surprise.

“One door shuts, others can possibly open,” Eades said. “I’ve had the chance to investigate other opportunities since the news has broken. I’ve received a couple calls from a couple different levels today. I’m going to let the dust settle here and see what the options are.”

11 thoughts on “Eades talks about leaving UND

  1. I justifiably can’t see how DH can fire an associate head coach without knowing the prospects he has available and who are, at least in his view, better suited for the job. The interviews next week may just be a formality. To make such an important decision, under such scrutiny, in practical terms neccessitates a preexisting arrangement. Otherwise, I give the UND hockey program, and DH, a ton of credibility based upon the fact that DH fully expects top tier associate head coach candidates to come forth immediately in pursuit of this extraordinary opportunity and simultaneously fit perfectly into DH’s plans. To replace the popular and admired CE, this chosen candidate has to come in with credentials and make a suitable impression as to how advantageous this coaching change decision is. DH must know this and must already have his decision made.

  2. I am stunned. Hak has to have someone in mind (in place already?) to make this kind of change. I feel bad for Cary. He put his heart and soul into Sioux hockey. Especially knowing that he wouldnt be the head coach anytime soon (unless Hak leaves for the next level).

    Cary will be a wanted man no doubt. I’d bet Blaiser has him on speed dial and we could be seeing UNO’s next head coach.

  3. Great coverage (that should quiet the minions). I imagine the rising popularity of Mr Eades played into this decision, as did Mr Hakstol’s personal feeling of “its do-or-die time” (true story). Mr Eads wont be on the job market long; too much of a successful track record to imagine otherwise……

  4. I have nothing but good things to say about Eades, and wish him all the best. I did not realize that he was recruiting coordinator and I wonder if the last 2 classes have cause Hak to want to change things up. We lost 3 players to MJs (2 blue chip), and we are still hoping to land Jones.

    I hope the next coach tweets!

  5. Coach Cary Eades will be missed. His resume speaks for itself, not to mention his loyalty and dedication to his Alma Mater. He is a prove leader, winner, and has had success everywhere he has coached. Coach Hakstol will have to fill the position with someone with a solid/impressive resume/skill set or he will definitely be under scrutiny for this decision. All the best to Coach Cary Eades. The school and/or organization who hires him will be receiving a wonderful Coach.

    • d h has been scrutinized for every decision he has made since he started coaching the fighting sioux.
      Have you ever seen a “fire hakstol” thread? or how about I mention “bring back blais”? Call your legislators. Call the governor.

      • Bingo.

        I’m sure the haters are saying “This is super sad. Hakstol should have been fired not Eades. We should’ve/would’ve won the last 10 straight National Championships if we had Blais or [whoever they like more] rather than Hakstol”

        Bring on the Fire Hakstol threads.

  6. Call me crazy, but there has been a lot of talk the last couple of years about Eades leaving and maybe, just maybe, Hak was doing him a favor by not renewing his contract–Eades has such a devotion to the Sioux it was probably always going to be tough for him to leave so Hak, as a friend, was doing him a solid and giving him a push out so he can take that next step without feeling like he was abandoning the Sioux- Just a thought. I hope for nothing but the best for Eades!

    • Bingo! If you do the math, it was actually a no-brainer. A head coach in one of the highest pressure jobs in the country + a very popular long-time assistant/alumnus (ready for a head coaching job himself) waiting in the wings. Add in a perceived need for a defensive specialist (+ a $$ crunch after the head coach reups), and that easily = Eads out. You hit the nail on the head though; he will land on his feet very quickly, and it might be the best thing that ever happened to him…..

  7. It’s kind of interesting that Eades, a coach that played on two national championship teams gets his walking papers. Contrast that with the two coaches that remain. Just an observation.

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