Blais, Alberts Get Contract Extensions
CHN Staff Report
OMAHA, Neb. Nebraska-Omaha has extended the contracts of coach Dean Blais and athletic director Trev Alberts through the 2014-15 season. For Blais, who took over last summer, that means an extension of two years.
“We are thrilled by the progress the team made under Dean’s leadership in his first season as head coach,” Alberts said. “By extending his contract, we hope to bring further stability to the position and give Dean and his staff a better opportunity to put their mark on the program through recruiting and player development.”
Blais led the Mavericks to a 20-16-6 record in 2009-10, and a sixth-place finish in the CCHA. It was the fourth 20-win season in UNO history and the first since 2005-06. The Mavericks won the opening round of the CCHA playoffs over Bowling Green before losing to Ferris State in the second round.
“The university is clearly committed to the success of the hockey program, and I am committed to the job we began here last season,” said Blais. “My wife and I have come to enjoy Omaha and with this extension, I anticipate being able to finish my head coaching career here at UNO.”
Blais is just the second head coach in UNO hockey history, following Mike Kemp who started the program in 1996 and became an associate athletic director at UNO in 2009. Blais is a two-time winner of the Spencer Penrose Memorial Award given to the top coach in Division I men’s college hockey. The native of International Falls, Minn., guided North Dakota to national championships in 1997 and 2000. He was named the WCHA Coach of the Year in 1997, 1999 and 2001.
UNO will move to the WCHA starting next season.
In January of 2010, Blais guided the U.S. National Junior Team to a Gold Medal in the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship, just the second gold medal ever earned by the U.S. squad. During the 2008-09 season, Blais was named 2009 United States Hockey League Coach of the Year after guiding the expansion Fargo Force to the Clark Cup Finals.
Meanwhile, Alberts' extension is agreed to in principle and is expected to be finalized soon.
“Trev has done an outstanding job in his relatively short time leading the athletic department,” UNO Chancellor John Christensen said. “He has defined a clear vision for UNO athletics and has worked proactively to achieve that goal.
“By extending his contract to run concurrently with Dean’s, we have brought stability to the department and put both men in position to continue to build our hockey program.”