Did you know: Zero of the last nine WCHA coach of the year winners have won a game in the NCAA tournament (including co-winners).
The last time a coach won the award, then went on to win an NCAA tournament game, it was George Gwozdecky and Denver in 2005.
Did you know: Troy Jutting + Jamie Russell, both of whom were fired in the last two years, have combined for more WCHA coach of the year awards than Dave Hakstol + Don Lucia (at Minn) + Mike Eaves + Scott Owens?
Indeed, Jutting won two, Russell has one, while both Hakstol and Lucia (at Minnesota) have just one.
Did you know: During Michigan Tech’s current 31-year NCAA tournament drought, Tech has more coach of the year awards than Minnesota (3-2).
Did you know: In three of the last six years, a coach of the year did not even make the NCAA tournament in that season.
Did you know: If Minnesota State’s Mike Hastings wins coach of the year this year, which I think he probably will, it will be the fourth coach of the year award for the Mavericks in the last 14 years — more than any WCHA team.
So, what exactly does this tell us?
That if you want to be considered the best coach in the league, you better make sure to have some bad years mixed in?
I think that people examine which team overachieves the most. And that’s a fine approach to take. I agree that factors like jumping in the standings and overcoming adversity should be part of the consideration.
But so should coaches who assemble great rosters and produce with those great rosters. Isn’t that part of a coach’s job?
Is Hastings a legit choice this year? Yes. MSU will almost surely be a home ice and an NCAA tournament team. Depending on how everything shakes out the final week, he may end up getting my vote.
My question is: How is Bob Motzko being so overlooked? Nobody’s really talking about him as a candidate, but he’s got all the elements.
First in the standings? Check. It’s not a guarantee they finish there, but there’s definitely a good chance, and that’s enough to warrant a vote right there.
If you want more factors, St. Cloud State will have jumped five spots in the WCHA standings from sixth to first. That’s the same jump MSU will have made if they finish sixth (of course MSU could still win the league, which would make this a no-brainer).
Motzko also had to deal with losses of Mike Lee, Cam Reid and David Eddy — all of whom would have been key players on this team.
I’ll be holding my vote until Sunday, when we can see how everything finished up. But I think it’s OK to vote for the coach of the league champion team, even if they were expected to win it.
I realize that circumstances are different in different places (it’s harder to win a MacNaughton Cup in Mankato or Bemidji than Minneapolis). But should Jutting have more coach of the years than Lucia, Hakstol, Eaves and Owens? Should Mel Pearson, who finished eighth and likely 10th or 11th in two years, have the same number as those guys?
I’m not sure.
What say you?