Saw first on College Hockey News, by the way. Sounds like it's for real, and it's a huge coup for Nebraska-Omaha. Not that their program had been legit in the past, but it really will be now.
Dean Blais has resigned as head coach of the Fargo Force and is expected to be named head coach of the University of Nebraska-Omaha at a press conference at 2 p.m. today.With Blais in the fold, speculation about Omaha heading to the WCHA with Bemidji State is only going to heat up. This is especially true if athletic director Trev Alberts and new right-hand man (and former coach) Mike Kemp do as indicated, and let the new coach have input over UNO's conference future.
Blais, who led UND to national championships in 1997 and 2000, will be returning to the college game after five years away.
He left UND in 2004 to take a position as the associate coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. He later was assigned to a player development role with the organization.
Last season, he coached the startup Fargo Force in the United States Hockey League, leading them to the Clark Cup Finals during their expansion season.
I'm not going to call this a wonderful hire, but it's not a slam at Alberts. It is a necessary hire. When a guy like Dean Blais expresses interest in your job, and you have the money to pay him, you hire him with no other questions asked.