The Mack Report

Deciphering the UMass coaching candidates

Despite UMass athletic director John McCutcheon telling the Gazette that he has not yet offered the hockey head coaching position to anyone, sources close to the negotiations say that both Rand Pecknold (Quinnipiac) and Paul Pearl (Holy Cross) had offers in hand to be the next coach of the Minutemen earlier this week before ultimately deciding to remain at their current positions.

The position was opened last month, when Don Cahoon resigned with one year remaining on his contract and rumors of poor institutional support have swirled among hockey circles.

Here is a list of remaining candidates, according to media reports and other sources.

1. Red Gendron (associate head coach, Yale)

After speaking with a current UMass player on Thursday, it’s clear there is a significant segment of players who are solidly behind Gendron returning to the UMass bench (he was a UMass assistant until two seasons ago). According to the UMass player, “We’re not making a decision, obviously, and I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I’m not alone in wanting Red to coach us.”

According to sources, Gendron has interviewed for the position.

2. Mike Cavanaugh (associate head coach, Boston College)

Cavanaugh is a regular on the list when Hockey East head coaching positions open. He was a candidate at most of the openings last season and was even a candidate at Merrimack back in 2005, when Mark Dennehy was hired. According to sources, Cavanaugh spoke with UMass officials about the job over the phone, but has not interviewed.

3. Mike Bavis (associate head coach, Boston University)

A similar situation to Cavanaugh, according to sources, he has not had an official interview.

Those three names are the ones that come up most in conversation. Others have mentioned Greg Brown (BC), Scott Borek (UNH), David Quinn (former BU assistant), Darren Yopyk (former Merrimack assistant) and Kyle Wallack (former Yale assistant) as potential candidates.

According to sources, McCutcheon has taken proper channels when speaking with potential candidates — i.e. calling athletic directors when it comes to speaking to current head coaches and calling head coaches before speaking to one of their assistants — and he is becoming lenient on his stance that the candidate have prior NCAA head coaching experience.

Previously, he’s stated publicly that the candidate would not necessarily be required to have previous head coaching experience. But, according to a source close to the search committee, prior head coaching experience was a high priority in early meetings.