Minnesota Duluth has posted its vacant men’s hockey assistant coach position, a little over a month after associate head coach Jason Herter announced he was leaving the program.
According to the job posting, the reviewing of applications will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, though Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said he doesn’t anticipate going through the applicants until next week.
He has some dad duties to take care of first. His daughter, Katie, has a hockey practice Friday down in the Twin Cities.
“I’m hoping to be done in about three weeks,” Sandelin said Monday of finding Herter’s replacement. “Hopefully I’ll be done sooner rather than later.
“I’ve talked to people. I certainly let a few of them know it was opening today. I have some people in mind, but whether or not they apply it’s up to them.”
Sandelin said last month he's typically "in a big hurry" to fill vacancies on his staff, but like everything in life, the COVID-19 pandemic has grinded the hockey world to a halt since March. College programs like the Bulldogs still are not permitted to hold any in-person camps, workouts or do any face-to-face recruiting.
The entire University of Minnesota system also remains under a hiring freeze due to the coronavirus, but is accepting applications for some positions — such as Sandelin’s next assistant.
When it comes time to do interviews, however, Sandelin won’t be permitted to bring any candidates to campus. All interviews will need to be done virtually, which Sandelin said isn’t a big deal anymore. It actually simplifies the process, he said.
“The good thing is everyone is used to Zoom stuff,” said Sandelin, whose last two assistant coach hires were a couple of familiar faces in two-time captain Adam Krause in 2018 and former assistant coach Brett Larson — now the head coach at St. Cloud State — in 2015. “It’s a little easier to set up a phone call than to try to set up people actually coming.”
Sandelin said he doesn’t anticipate whoever he hires to start until after July 1, but he does want his 2020-21 staff to be all set by the time recruits are allowed to make official visits to campus on August 1, per NCAA rules.
That date, too, is currently up in the air, though, as the NCAA has repeatedly extended the quiet period for Division I recruiting. Since college sports was shut down in mid-March due to the coronavirus, coaches have been limited to only communicating with recruits through phone calls, texts, emails and video conferences. The ban on in-person recruiting — which has been extended three times now — is currently in effect until July 31.
Herter announced April 30 he was leaving the program after nine seasons to pursue other opportunities in hockey. Elevated from assistant to associate head coach in 2018, Herter helped lead the Bulldogs to two NCHC postseason titles, six NCAA tournament appearances, three straight NCAA title game appearances and back-to-back national championships.