Blais announces departure of two assistant coaches

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PHOTO COURTESY OF UNO ATHLETICS
PHOTO COURTESY OF UNO ATHLETICS

Jackson Taylor
Sports Editor

After what may have been the biggest second-half collapse in UNO hockey history, head coach Dean Blais announced last week that assistant coaches Troy Jutting and Alex Todd will not be coming back with the team next season.

“Given the difficult end to our season, we took a hard look at our team and how we support the players as a staff,” Blais said.

Blais made the decision to let the two assistants go following Omaha’s 18-17-1 finish in the 2015-16 season. At one point, Omaha was ranked as high as No. 2 in the country; but a late-season skid saw them miss a shot at the postseason and finishing sixth in the NCHC.

Jutting leaves the program after serving as an assistant for four years. He spent his previous 12 years as the head coach of Minnesota State. Todd has been relieved of duties after just two seasons with the team. Jutting has been on the losing side of the first round of playoffs every year for the last 14 years.

“I want to thank Troy and Alex for their work on behalf of Maverick hockey,” Blais said. “We’ll immediately begin to look for the best candidates to fill the assistant coach positions.”

The Mavericks enter the 2016-2017 season looking to build on last season’s collapse. After graduating co-captain Brian Cooper, Omaha took another hit when junior Jake Guentzel left the program early to join the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Scranton, PA.

Senior Austin Ortega is expected to provide the bulk of scoring in the upcoming year.

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