Guentzel Returns to College, Named to UNO Staff
CHN Staff Report
OMAHA, Neb. Nebraska-Omaha has brought in veteran Mike Guentzel as assistant coach. Guentzel comes to UNO from the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL, where he was the head coach and general manager.
“We are very fortunate to have a coach of Mike’s stature on our staff,” said UNO head coach Dean Blais. “He has 15 years experience as a coach in Division I college hockey and has taught some of the best players in the WCHA in that time.
“Mike has even more experience as a coach in junior hockey and at the international level and has shown a proven ability to recruit top-notch talent. He will have an immediate impact on our program.”
Guentzel replaces Nick Fohr, who becomes Director of Hockey Operations.
Guentzel spent one season at Des Moines. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at Colorado College from 2008-09 and at Minnesota from 1994-2008. As a college assistant, he was part of two national championships with Minnesota and helped the Gophers to 11 NCAA tournament appearances. While in the Twin Cities, Guentzel helped Minnesota win more than 350 games, four WCHA playoff championships and three regular season championships. He coached two Hobey Baker Memorial Award winners, 13 All-Americans and 23 eventual National Hockey League players.
“I’m excited by the opportunity to work with Dean Blais and Mike Hastings, two great coaches who are very highly regarded,” said Guentzel. “I found out how passionate Omaha hockey fans were when I coached the Lancers. With the support UNO gets and the fact that the team is moving into the WCHA, this was too good an opportunity to pass up.”
Guentzel returns to Omaha for the first time since 1994. He coached the Omaha Lancers from 1992-94, winning back-to-back Clark Cup titles as playoff champions. His 1992-93 team also won the Anderson Cup as regular season champs. Prior to his stint in Omaha, he was the head coach of the St. Paul Vulcans of the USHL from 1989-1992 after serving as the team’s assistant coach for three prior years. He won the USHL Coach of the Year award in 1991-92, his last year with St. Paul, and in 1992-93, his first year with Omaha, to become the first USHL coach to win the award in consecutive seasons.
The native of Grand Rapids, Minn. attended Minnesota and graduated in 1987 with a degree in general studies in small business and human relations. As a defenseman, he had 12 goals and 75 assists in 143 career games. He played briefly in professional hockey for Salt Lake of the IHL and New Haven of the AHL. He has been a member of the coaching staffs of six U.S. national teams including serving as the head coach of the Select-17 Team in 1991.