Thursday, March 15, 2018

UNH Head Coach Mike Souza On Recruiting and His Coaching Staff

Head Coach Mike Souza
UNH Men's Ice Hockey

Yesterday afternoon, Mike Souza was officially introduced as the 13th head coach of the UNH men's ice hockey program. In the summer of 2015, Souza was identified as the "heir apparent" to longtime UNH head coach Dick Umile. At the time, Souza left the UConn coaching staff, with the blessing and encouragement of head coach Mike Cavanaugh, and accepted the position of associate head coach with UNH.

The ceremony held at the Whittemore Center began with introductory remarks by Associate Athletic Director of Communications and "Voice of UNH Hockey" Mike Murphy and Director of Athletics Marty Scarano. When it was Head Coach Souza's turn to speak, he articulated what the new job means to him and what he plans to accomplish. A video of the formal proceedings, produced by UNH Wildcat Productions, is available on YouTube.

Following these proceedings, Coach Souza held a press conference. I have included the portions in which Souza described his recruiting strategy and his plans for the coaching staff in his first season at the helm.

Mike Lowry (The UNH Men's Hockey Blog): Your involvement in recruiting since you've been here has involved thousands of miles of travel to hockey rinks all over North America. Do you see yourself adjusting your role in the recruiting process now that you're the head coach?

Mike Souza (UNH Head Coach): One thing I'd like you guys to take note of - and I was remiss in not mentioning - is one person in particular. Glenn Stewart (Associate Head Coach) has been a tireless recruiter and done an incredible job working here. He's been back and forth to the west coast two times in the last three weeks. Glenn has done a tremendous job for us and I don't anticipate that to change.

I believe the head coach has a responsibility to be an integral part of the recruiting process. Maybe that doesn't mean the first eyes on a recruit but you need to be willing to hop on a plane and go meet with a kid, or do a home visit, whatever it takes to get top talent to want to come to the University of New Hampshire. I'm willing to do that.

I enjoy recruiting, as people that know me well know. I love watching games. I love the interactions with the players. Recruiting is all about relationship building and I'm happy to tell anyone what it's like to play hockey at UNH.

It takes a certain kid that that resonates with. I think we've been fortunate enough to find kids that are really excited about coming to play here at UNH. I'm really excited about the opportunity to coach them.

Al Pike ( You must have some contacts overseas and guys who can extend recruiting that far?

Head Coach Souza: Ya, I think that's no secret. There are players everywhere and we will leave no rock unturned. We've been over there several times already. There's good players in Europe, there's good players in New Hampshire. It's just a matter of identifying them and hoping they'll fit into what we want to do and recognize what we can do for them. We'll leave no stone unturned when it comes to recruiting

Mike Lowry: Do you have a rough timeline on when your replacement will be identified and selected?

Head Coach Souza: We've been thinking about this for three years and there's some people in mind. Probably sooner rather than later, to be honest, I don't want to get into too much right now, but sooner rather than later. I think it's integral to our push forward in terms of recruiting to have someone in place as soon as we can.

Joshua Sequin (College Hockey News): So is Stewart staying on the staff for you? Is that the plan?

Head Coach Souza: Ya, absolutely. I want Glenn here as long as Glenn wants to be here. I hope he aspires to take the Merrimack job. I'd love to see him get a head coaching job. My aspirations are similar to what Mike Cavanaugh's (UConn Head Coach) were for me. I don't think there's any greater compliment a guy could have as a head coach in terms of the coaching tree he can develop. My goal for all the guys who come work for me is they'll have the opportunity to run their own program one day.

I'd like to make note of the fact that our penalty kill was the #1 penalty kill in our league this year and #3 or #4 nationally and Glenn was responsible for that. He did an outstanding job this year. He's a great guy, a great person, and he's passionate about UNH.

Unless he has plans that I don't know about (laughter).


Post a Comment

<< Home

Web Site Hit Counter

Firefox 2