Sorry. Mike Gabinet has 1 year of NCAA coaching experience and just three years experience as a paid coach; the other two at a small school in Canada. That hardly qualifies him to be a head coach in the premier college hockey conference.He's a Maverick to the core and now takes the reins as head coach of his alma mater. Congrats, Coach Gabinet!— Omaha Hockey (@OmahaHKY) April 5, 2017
READ: https://t.co/n4Guw0A9Uv pic.twitter.com/XhLoMBdv25
Yes, it's "nice" that an alum gets to take over a program and that the players like him, but if UNO is serious about competing in the NCHC and nationally, UNO needed to hire a coach who's been prepared to coach at this level. Mike Gabinet is not that coach.
Over the last year, UNO has made a habit of replacing experienced coaches and promoting up lesser paid assistants in all of their sports. The baseball team is the biggest example of that, where Evan Porter's squad is struggling mightily at 6-21. The rumors are that UNO's financial issues have forced the issue, a situation created by the deficits at Baxter Arena.
When Dean Blais stepped down, Trev Alberts made it a point to say that finances weren't going to be a factor.
Alberts: "The hiring of the next coach will not be driven by finances." #UNOHockey— John Bishop (@JohnBishop71) March 14, 2017
Sure looks like they were, in the end. Which raises the question... if UNO isn't going to be serious about Maverick Hockey, should I?
I don't have to answer that question today. But at some point, my season ticket invoice is going to come in. Do I want to invest my money in season tickets when UNO doesn't seem to be interested in being competitive in college hockey?
That's a really tough question to ask, and it's an even tougher question to answer. I like UNO hockey. I want it to succeed. But it's hard to have any faith in the program right now. This decision is really tough to swallow.