Alaska Narrows Field to Four
CHN Staff Report
Alaska has named four finalists for its head coaching position. Athletic director Forrest Karr expects to name a replacement for the departed Tavis MacMillan by the end of May or early June.
Current assistant Wade Klippenstein is among the finalists. The others are assistant coaches as well, including Nebraska-Omaha's Doc DelCastillo, St. Cloud State's Eric Rude and Wisconsin's Kevin Patrick.
MacMillan, who has been part of the program as a player and coach for over 15 years, resigned in April to support his wife's career move to Minnesota. He was the Nanooks' head coach for three years.
Each finalist is scheduled to be on campus during the next two weeks to meet with administrators, faculty, students, fans and media.
"We went into this thing looking for someone with a lot of integrity," said Karr to the Fairbanks News-Miner, "and we wanted to find someone who would uphold the academic tradition established here for the hockey team. What made them (finalists) stand out was their career choices and career paths. A few had worked at two or more institutions."
The finalists were chosen from approximately 30 applicants, which was later narrowed to 12 people that were interviewed.
Klippenstein is the only Alaska-Fairbanks graduate of the group, having played for the team from 1989-93. He has been an assistant the last three seasons. Prior to that, he spent two years as the scouting and player development director for Moose Jaw of the major junior Western Hockey League.
"He's been in situations as a general manager where he handled everything from scheduling buses to worrying about budgets," Karr told the paper. "He has an impressive track record."
DelCastillo has been UNO's assistant the past five seasons, and was an assistant at St. Cloud State the previous four. He has also coached in the USHL.
Rud, a former Colorado College defenseman, has been an assistant at St. Cloud State under Bob Motzko the last seasons. He was a one-time WCHA Defensive Player of the Yaer during his time with the Tigers. He had a pro hockey career in various minor leagues.
"He was a team captain at every level he played at," said Karr to the News-Miner, "and that told me that he was a natural leader."
Patrick was an assistant at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts from 1993-97, then spent time in the USHL and as an assistant at Union and Bowling Green, before heading to Wisconsin the past two seasons.