Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Scott Sandelin to Interview at Penn State

If your head has been under a rock (I've been accused of worse over the years), you might not know that UMD coach Scott Sandelin confirmed to Kevin Pates that he's been contacted about the opening at Penn State, and will likely interview for the gig.

With one year left on his UMD contract, discussions were already underway on a contract extension when this news broke. It's simply not ideal -- or customary, for that matter -- for a Division I coach to work the final year of a contract. It's not ideal because it can make recruiting more difficult. It's not customary because most coaches are either released (perhaps it's a "resignation" or a real resignation) or have their contracts extended before that final year begins.

This is a no-brainer decision for UMD and athletic director Bob Nielson. They want to extend the coach, as UMD is fresh off their first national championship, and you don't want to start the offseason with the bad vibe of losing the head coach who helped make it all possible.

On the other hand, if Penn State -- which is using a large private donation to start their hockey program -- really wants Sandelin, can UMD do anything to stop them from getting what they want?

In the end, this is up to Sandelin and Penn State more than anyone else. However, I know a lot of fans have reached out to me, asking for advice on who they could try to communicate with at UMD.

At the risk of making myself look like a lackey, which I've tried hard to avoid, I figured I'd offer a little bit of advice.

It seems that Nielson understands the value of this coaching staff, but if you'd like to send him an email with your feelings on the subject, his address is

Chancellor Lendley Black might be the new guy, but he's really impressed me with his enthusiasm for the athletic teams. He was at the Frozen Four, and even donned a blond wig to fit in with the team theme. It was great to see. He can be reached at

I don't think I have to say this, but if you're going to write these gentlemen, please be courteous and tactful with your comments. We are lucky to have good people in leadership positions at UMD, and they will respond in kind, either through their words or actions on this issue.

So much for the offseason, huh? :)

1 comment:

Roy said...

Assuming he's gone, who would be on the short list to replace him? Curt Giles, Derek Plante and Brett Larson come to mind. I think you'd also have to take a look at the top assistants at other WCHA schools. Maybe make a run at the Air Force coach too.