May 29, 2003
The Next Top Cat?

When Mike Gilligan decided to step down at Vermont, it opened up one of the nation's most attractive head coaching positions. With a history of success, strong community support, and the looming possibility of a new building, Vermont certainly has the makings of a top Division I job.

The Catamounts' new athletic director, Bob Corran, has already gotten some strong interest in the position. Between conversations around the college hockey world and a dose of speculation, Inside College Hockey has drawn up the following list of possible candidates for this very appealing vacant position.


Bill Beaney
Head Coach
His work at Middlebury has made him one of the most respected coaches in the game, but he’s never tested himself at the Division I level. After taking a year off for a sabbatical, the timing might be right for Beaney to make a move.
Tim Bothwell
Ex-Assistant Coach
Atlanta Thrashers
Bothwell coached the University of Calgary while new Vermont A.D. Bob Corran ran the Dinosaurs’ athletic department. The Brown alum and former NHLer – who has been a finalist for U.S. college jobs with Brown and Minnesota-Duluth in the past – was fired as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Thrashers during this past season.
Roger Grillo
Head Coach
His seven years as an assistant coach at Vermont coincided with the program’s glory days, something that’s certainly not lost on the folks in Burlington. With head coaching experience, ties to the school and familiarity with the ECAC, he's probably the front-runner.
Jeff Jackson
Ex-Head Coach
Guelph Storm (OHL)
After parting ways with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League earlier this season, Jackson seems like a more natural fit for the college game. Vermont could be just the place for the architect of Lake Superior’s powerhouse teams of the early 1990s to return to the college ranks.
Bob Mancini
Edmonton Oilers
Mancini helped Jackson start the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, and he too deserves a spot back in the college game. He was a head coach for six years at Ferris State and Michigan Tech in the 1990s, leading Tech to three WCHA Final Fives.
Mike McShane
Head Coach
He brought a national championship home to the state this winter with Division III Norwich and the coach he beat in the title game, George Roll, has stepped up to the ECAC with Clarkson. As a former Division I head coach (Providence), McShane has an element on his resume that the other DIII candidate, Beaney, lacks.
Mark Morris
Ex-Head Coach
With a track record of success in the ECAC, his coaching resume certainly warrants a look. Time will tell how much the situation at Clarkson this past year will hold him back. He’d be a logical choice to at least receive an interview and tell his side of the story.
David Quinn
Associate Coach
The Boston University grad and former assistant at Northeastern and Nebraska-Omaha spent the last year as the head coach of the Under-17 Team with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.
Ron Rolston
Assistant Coach
Boston College
The Boston College assistant coach knows the ECAC from his six years at Harvard and Clarkson. He’s the Eastern assistant most often mentioned as being ready for a head coaching job, especially now that Jamie Russell has taken over at Michigan Tech.
Kevin Sneddon
Head Coach
The Union head coach was a candidate for previous ECAC openings at Harvard and Princeton. He did a good job with the Skating Dutchmen this season and may have an eye on another of the conference’s more elite positions.
Wild Cards? Keep in mind that new Vermont A.D. Bob Corran took an untraditional route on a big hire at Minnesota-Duluth, tabbing former Canadian national women’s team coach Shannon Miller to lead the Bulldogs. That resulted in three straight national titles. Could he make a similar statement here? Perhaps, if someone like U.S. national women’s coach Ben Smith expresses an interest.
































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