Vermont Narrows Field to Five
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
Vermont athletic director Bob Corran is interviewing five candidates for the vacant head coaching position. Those candidates, according to numerous reports and sources, are current Brown coach Roger Grillo, current Union coach Kevin Sneddon, former Atlanta Thrashers assistant coach Tim Bothwell, former Boston University player David Quinn, and current Vermont assistant Damian DiGiulian.
Corran arrived on campus this week, after beginning the process while still officially the athletic director at Minnesota-Duluth.
None of the candidates would, or were available to, comment.
Grillo is a former assistant at Vermont, and has been head coach at Brown since 1996-97. He's coming off the most successful season under his tenure, 16-14-5, and is 62-101-22 overall.
Sneddon is a 1992 Harvard graduate and member of its 1989 championship team, who has been head coach at Union since 1998. The Dutchmen were 14-18-4 last season, the most wins under Sneddon, who is 50-99-18 overall.
Bothwell, 48, was a finalist at his alma mater, Brown, when Grillo got the job in 1996 after Bob Gaudet left. He was actually offered the position, but turned it down to remain head coach at the University of Calgary, where Corran was athletic director at the time. When Corran left to become athletic director at Minnesota-Duluth, and long-time coach Mike Sertich left, Bothwell, who is a veteran of 502 NHL games, became a finalist for that opening, though it eventually went to Scott Sandelin. Bothwell has been a head coach at Medicine Hat of the Western League (1990-92) and Phoenix of the defunct IHL (1992-94).
Quinn, who played at Boston University until 1989, was a former No. 1 pick of the Minnesota North Stars. He played two years of pro hockey before moving onto coaching as an assistant, first at Northeastern then at Nebraska-Omaha. Last summer, Quinn was named head coach of the U.S. Under-17 team as part of the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.
DiGiulian, 33, played college hockey at Hamilton and has been an assistant at Vermont since 1998. He is the son-in-law of ESPN broadcaster Gary Thorne.
Conspicuously absent from the list of candidates are current Norwich head coach Mike McShane and current Middlebury head coach Bill Beaney. Both are coaches of nearby Division III powerhouses, and multiple-time national champions. McShane has prior experience at two Division I schools. Beaney apparently took himself out of the running early on.
Also absent from the list, prominent Boston College assistant Ron Rolston, who has been a finalist for other jobs, most recently at Clarkson, and former two-time national champion Jeff Jackson, who was reported to be interested in the job. Jackson helped start up the National Develop Program after leaving Lake Superior, and after getting fired there, coached in the Ontario League at Guelph before getting fired midway through last season.