The Duluth News Tribune's Kevin Pates reports that former North Dakota head coach Dean Blais is the front runner to be UNO's next head coach. Blais brings an impressive resume to the job search, winning two national championships for the Sioux before trying his luck in the NHL. Whether Pates has some inside information, or merely connected with wishful thinking of local fans on mavpuck.com isn't known.
I will say this: if Dean Blais is sincerely interested in getting back into college coaching in Omaha, he has to be considered the front-runner.
Two more names have confirmed interest. Former Lancer head coach Mike Guentzel and former UNO assistant David Quinn both tell the Omaha World-Herald they're interested. Guentzel coached the Lancers from 1992 to 1994, then left for Minnesota as an assistant coach. The Gophers won back-to-back national titles in 2002 and 2003. Guentzel was a finalist in 1996 to be UNO's first head coach, and is currently at Colorado College. Quinn has been at Boston University since leaving UNO earlier this decade, helping the Terriers win the national championship this past season.
If not Blais, either Guentzel or Quinn appear to be outstanding candidates as well. Certainly it appears that UNO is drawing far more interest in the search for hockey coach than it did during the athletic director search.